The Lehigh men's soccer team lost to Pittsburgh 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Mountain Hawks finished the season 13-4-3 overall.(Courtesy of Brent Hugo)

Men’s soccer falls in first round of NCAA Tournament

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The Lehigh men’s soccer team was edged out by Pittsburgh 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

In Lehigh’s first tournament appearance since 2015, the Mountain Hawks could not create enough chances against a high-powered Panthers offense that had scored 34 goals over 18 games coming in. Despite only conceding 16 goals all year, Lehigh was bombarded with 18 shots by a Pittsburgh attack, led by First Team All-ACC junior forward Edward Kizza.

Kizza opened the scoring in the 18th minute of the first half, finishing a cross by junior forward Alexander Dexter, to record his 12th goal of the season. Junior defender Bryce Washington added to the lead in the 44th minute, scoring his second goal of the season off of a pass coming in from that same left-side spot.

Lehigh had been outscored 9-7 in first halves coming into the game, and that trend continued against Pittsburgh. A 2-0 halftime deficit ultimately proved too much to overcome.  

Sophomore forward Josh Luchini put pressure on Pittsburgh early, having two shots saved in the 3rd and 13th minute, but was unable to get on the scoring sheet. Senior forward Tommy Dokho challenged redshirt junior goalkeeper Arie Amman with a header in the 78th minute, but the Mountain Hawks could not find the back of the net.

Senior goalkeeper Will Smith made six saves to help keep Lehigh in the contest as he was pressured all game.

Lehigh will now switch its efforts toward preparing for the 2020 season, while Pittsburgh will move on to face No. 3 Georgetown in the second round of the tournament on Nov. 24.

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