The Lehigh field hockey team faced off against rival Lafayette in a thrilling overtime win.
In an exciting game, the Mountain Hawks (11-5, 4-2 in the Patriot League) displayed their resiliency as they defeated Lafayette 3-2 in overtime.
They were able to respond to each of the Lafayette goals with a goal of their own, forcing overtime, which came down to the last minute.
The Leopards fall to 11-4 overall and 3-2 in the Patriot League, as both teams have their sights on the Patriot League Tournament which takes place from Nov. 4-6.
“I’m feeling really confident going into the Patriot League Tournament,” coach Caitlin Dallmeyer said. “We struggled a little bit against Bucknell last weekend, and I wasn’t sure how we were going to bounce back to a high-level team. We proved that we can certainly compete. It was a really great game, and a good confidence booster because this is our first overtime win.”
The four teams who qualify for the Patriot League Tournament have already been decided: American, Bucknell, Lehigh and Lafayette.
American is the team-to-beat as they remain undefeated in Patriot League play, having defeated Lehigh, Bucknell and Lafayette already.
Lehigh is currently in third place, and this win over the Leopards keeps them in third which helps them avoid a potential semi-finals matchup with American.
If the season ended today, Lehigh would face Bucknell in the semi-finals while American would face Lafayette. All games would take place at the home field of the first place team.
In their only matchup of the year, Lehigh scored the opening goal against Bucknell before falling 6-1.
After a back and forth first quarter in the rivalry game, neither team was able to cash in a goal. With chances on both ends, it was only a matter of time until someone struck first blood. In fact, it was Lafayette who cashed in first, with a goal from the Leopards junior, Felicitas Hannes.
However, Lehigh continued to play hard and was able to strike back in that same quarter, with a rejuvenating goal from fifth-year senior Drew Pecora, which was assisted by senior Lenke Havas.
The game saw a lot of good play between the lines as the squads continued to fight back and forth, with no team taking a clear advantage.
With the score knotted at halftime, both teams looked to pull away from the competition and assert themselves in this rivalry and within the Patriot League.
In the third quarter, Lafayette struck next with a goal from Molly McAndrew and seemed to be ready to run away with it.
Despite Lehigh’s constant pressure on the offensive end, Lafayette was able to withstand the blows and execute on their offensive end taking the 2-1 lead.
The Mountain Hawks’ efforts would not go in vain, as they were eventually able to overcome this setback and get a goal of their own.
Sydney White was able to score on an assisted goal from Lenke Havas, as the Mountain Hawks refused to go down lightly.
Both teams would continue to give their all for the rest of the regulation, but no team was able to get the upper hand.
Both teams had heads turning from one side of the field to the other as the back and forth continued.
Lehigh was able to keep the pressure on as they had many scoring opportunities in the last few quarters, but a sturdy Lafayette defense was able to stand strong and hold them off. There were physical plays on both ends as the women were giving their all.
The game was headed into overtime. Picking up right where they left off, the Mountain Hawks and the Leopards continued to duke it out with a thrilling ending.
It seemed as if everyone was playing their part, not getting beat, while continuing to pressure their opponents.
There were times when the gritty play of the Mountain Hawks seemed as if they would end the game for good, but the defense and goaltending of the Leopards remained.
No one could get the upper hand as the game was coming down to the wire. Lehigh’s continuous offensive efforts finally paid off as they were able to get themselves a penalty stroke opportunity with 40 seconds left in overtime, with leading scorer Lenke Havas ready to line up and take the shot.
Havas has had a strong season, scoring three goals, and had a terrific game, assisting on the two previous goals. The stat sheet did not do her justice, however, as she did a great job defending and facilitating offense the entire game.
“I was of course pretty nervous, but we practice this a lot so I was confident to just do what I do in practice and do the same thing here,” Havas said. “It was a great night. It was senior night so the energy was already great coming in, the girls did so many nice things for us. Decorating the locker room, and being honored right before, so I think emotions were really high which brought a lot of energy on the field. Being able to end it like this was amazing.”
Havas struck the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal, granting Lehigh the coveted rivalry win and securing Lehigh’s place as a dominant force in the Patriot League.
The Mountain hawks look to carry this momentum into their last game against Wagner on Oct. 31 and into the Patriot League Tournament starting in early November.