The Lehigh field hockey team won its first Patriot League championship since 1994 after defeating Boston University 2-1 in overtime in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh field hockey beats American to advance to Patriot League championship


The Lehigh women’s field hockey team advanced to their first Patriot League Championship since 1996 after defeating American 2-1 in a nine-round penalty shootout. 

It was also Lehigh’s (12-7) first victory over American in program history.

Senior Sarah Bonthuis said last year the team felt overwhelmed going into the semifinal game and didn’t know what to expect as it was the program’s first postseason appearance in a decade. 

Bonthius said this year felt different. 

Junior Julia Gatelein scored the winning goal in the penalty shootout and led Lehigh to the championship game.

“We came out aggressive and hungry to win and I thought we made some really great improvements from the last time we played them,” Gatelein said.

Coach Caitlin Dallmeyer said the team’s composure is what won them the game. 

Dallmeyer said senior goalkeeper Maddie Kahn’s specialty is shootouts and kept the team in the game, including the defensive line who limited the No. 2 seed American to one goal. 

“Everyone told us this was going to be a rebuilding year,” Dallmeyer said. “We’ve been working hard to disprove that thought and today was another way in which we sent that message and I’m really proud of the team.” 

Senior Sydney White said the team’s goal this season has been to prove people wrong and build upon last season’s success. 

“This game shows that not only can we continue with it, but we can take a step above and do even better,” White said.

Kahn said that a defining moment from the game is when American tied the game in the 47th minute, but Lehigh did not back down. 

“Not only did we beat American but doing it when it matters most is incredible,” Kahn said.

The team will now play for the Patriot League championship against No. 1 seed Boston University this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Jacobs Complex at American. The Mountain Hawks are looking for their second Patriot League title and first since 1994. 

Gatelein said the team is ready to play Boston and is focused on winning.  

“We are going to have a walk-through tomorrow and go over our game plan for Saturday,”  Gatelein said. “We are all very determined and ready to go for Saturday and know what needs to be done to pull out the win.”

Bonthuis said that the team is going to take ice baths, sleep, recover and watch film in preparation for the championship game. 

“Our ability to stay composed when facing adversity, whether it’s in a game, in the season, or outside of the field, we always tackle everything together as a team, we play as a team, and I think that is something we worked hard for,” Bonthuis said. “I am proud of all of us, from starters to the scout team, to coaches and everyone involved with our team.”

Dallmeyer said the team will finish off their celebrations and shift into game mode tomorrow.

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