The Lehigh women’s soccer team (8-6-3) defeated Navy 4-0 in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League tournament at home on Oct. 30.
The team collected its eighth win of the season and sixth win home. Historically, Navy has played Lehigh 32 times, amassing a 23-5-4 record, but the Mountain Hawks were able to buck that trend in this matchup.
Lehigh jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half with two goals by senior midfielder Ryelle Shuey.
The Mountain Hawks extended their lead to three with a goal from sophomore forward Corrine Lyght. Prior to the game, Lyght was honored for winning the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, the first Mountain Hawk to receive the award since 2005.
“I have to give the credit to the rest of the team,” Lyght said. “They make it a lot easier to be able to perform day in and out. I would not have the individual success without my teammates, so I’m really grateful for them.”
Navy recorded the first two shots on goal of the game at the 12 and 19 minute mark. Lehigh’s freshman goalkeeper Maggie Ousouljoglou totaled a career high seven saves, including one on a free-kick from Navy junior Jenna Duant.
Lehigh controlled the rest of the game as Shuey added her fourth and fifth goals of the season. The latter came at the 31 minute mark when Shuey fired home a penalty kick to extend the lead to two.
Shuey said her penalty kick goal was “huge” for the team. By the end of the first half, Lehigh had outshot Navy 13-5.
“Obviously there’s nerves in the back of your head, but I think when people step up to the kick, they know what they have to do — they have to put it on frame and place it,” Shuey said. “It was a total team effort. Everyone came together, put forth their best effort, and it showed. We dominated both offense and defense and it all just clicked. It’s a good feeling.”
Lehigh carried their first half performance into the second half, and didn’t let Navy back in the game. Four minutes into the second half, Lyght maneuvered through multiple Navy defenders, before placing it by Navy goalkeeper Mattie Gallagher.
During the 79th minute, senior midfielder Chloe Sherman scored her first goal of the season to make it a 4-0 game.
Despite her team’s offensive outburst, coach Lauren Calabrese said her team’s commitment to defense caught her attention.
“It’s really encouraging,” Calabrese said. “To put four away and have a shutout in a playoff game. We’re definitely trending in the right direction and just super happy for the girls.”
A trip to No. 1 seeded Army West Point on Nov. 3 awaits Lehigh as they continue their chase of the Patriot League Championship. Calabrese said her team needs to trust what has brought them success.
Calabrese said she doesn’t think the team needs to change their gameplan, and will focus on recovery before their next match.
Lyght echoed her coach’s message, while acknowledging the task at hand versus Army.
“Navy’s a great team and we just came out and played hard for 90 minutes.” Lyght said. “We never let up, and we just need to take that to Army. Army’s another great team. They won the regular season, there’s a lot of respect for them, but also we know what we’re capable of.”