Junior Sarah Bonthuis currently leads Lehigh’s field hockey team in points, with eight goals and five assists, for a total of 21 points.
The field hockey team clinched its first winning regular season since 1994 on Oct. 10 against Temple University. The Mountain Hawks’ record currently sits at 9-4.
Bonthuis, who has started all but one game over the course of her career, has been key to the team’s progress.
Coach Caitlin Dallmeyer said Bonthuis is a versatile player who can play on multiple lines on the field, create shot opportunities in unconventional ways and is hard to manage as an opponent.
“Combining her skill set to put her in the best role was challenging the last two years,” Dallmeyer said. “We created a new structure this year to allow for her to use her best skill sets in one spot.”
Bonthuis started in all 18 games her freshman year and finished fourth in points scored with nine. Her sophomore season looked bright until the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
This past spring, Bonthuis started in all five games and recorded an assist.
To prepare for the fall, she said she lived by her summer fitness packet, played field hockey whenever she could and even ran with a track team to stay in shape.
“I thought to myself, I am going to come back and finally show who I am, play without restrictions in my head and play with a sense of freedom and confidence,” Bonthuis said.
At the beginning of the fall, Dallmeyer planned to use Bonthuis as a ‘spark’ of a substitute who would come into games and change the team’s attacking lines.
Dallmeyer quickly learned, however, that the team could not afford to keep Bonthuis off the field for extended periods.
“She owned her role and we couldn’t take her off,” Dallmeyer said.
Junior defender Sydney White said Bonthuis has found her potential as a goal scorer this season, making her a player other teams have to identify in scouting reports.
Bonthuis’ point total has resulted in her being named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week in September.
“It’s the way she goes down the field and carries the ball, and the chances she takes in front of the net that set her apart from the competition,” White said.
Dallmeyer said that Bonthuis’ character stands out in addition to her prowess on the field.
“It’s not easy to find, in recruiting, an athlete that is always as glass-is-half-full as Sarah (Bonthuis),” Dallmeyer said. “ It’s her rate of maturity and emotional growth in her time here that has a lot to do with her natural positive style.”
Bonthuis and the Mountain Hawks will look to clinch their Patriot League Tournament berth against Bucknell on Oct. 16.