Lehigh’s women’s field hockey team shut out the Rider University Broncos 3-0 on Sunday, Oct. 17 to secure their 10th victory of the year.
The win ensures Lehigh will go to the Patriot League tournament for the first time in nearly a decade and the first time since the league expanded to seven teams.
The Mountain Hawks currently hold a 10 and five record, making this their first winning season since 1994.
Lehigh maintained control throughout the game, with six more shots, seven more shots on goal and six more corners than the defending NEC Champion Rider Broncos.
Head coach Caitlin Dallmeyer said Lehigh’s momentum and strong possessions helped bring home the win.
“We were able to maintain momentum, we didn’t give (Rider) a lot of chances to execute,” Dallmeyer said. “We were really focused on maintaining momentum and making sure that we could keep the ball in our hands, and not allow them to drive towards the goal.”
The game opened with a back-and-forth first period, with each team spending time in each other’s zone.
Although Lehigh managed a series of strong possessions in the first quarter, points didn’t make it onto the board until the second period.
In the 23rd minute of the match, Lehigh’s Drew Pecora ended the scoring drought by picking up a loose rebound from a corner and sending a grounder into the right side of the goal.
Lehigh was able to create seven corners throughout the game.
Going into the third period, Lehigh maintained their momentum.
Sarah Bonthuis, positioned just inside the circle, managed to sneak a shot into the far corner of the goal.
This goal was Bonthuis’s ninth goal of the season in the teams first 15 games.
Bonthuis’s strong season has been a key for Lehigh during their historic year. As one of three Lehigh players to come from the Netherlands, Bonthuis has led the team with 23 points.
“Yesterday we had a tough Patriot League loss and we knew we had to bounce back,” Bonthuis said. “We may not have started off very strong, but we were able to reposition ourselves and shift the momentum.”
With less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Lehigh’s Olivia Perrone made a pass through traffic to Lenke Havas, who successfully turned Lehigh’s seventh corner into a third point for Lehigh.
Bonthuis credits the team’s success this season to a united, supportive team attitude.
“We stay positive [after a loss]. We tell each other the things we did well, while also being honest with each other and holding each other accountable”
On Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 pm, the Mountain Hawks hope to continue their successful season when they play Lafayette at the Ulrich Sports Complex.