First-year defender Landon Bealer fights through contact in a match against Columbia on Sept. 1. Bealer has played in all five matches since arriving at Lehigh. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh men’s soccer looks to end winless streak


Lehigh men’s soccer has started their season 0-3-2 heading into Patriot League play, but the team remains optimistic as they continue to see progression from their younger players and chemistry building throughout the lineup. 

All five games for the Mountain Hawks have been close with the greatest margin of defeat in their losses being a one-goal difference. In all three losing games, Lehigh conceded the losing or tying goal past the 70th-minute mark. 

The team’s loss against La Salle University was particularly tough after the back and forth game was sealed by an 85th-minute penalty kick.

“I don’t think the record reflects really how we’ve been playing and the progress we’ve been making,” first-year forward Thomas Robertson said. 

Coach Dean Koski said the Mountain Hawks lined up a difficult nonleague schedule so the team could better prepare for Patriot League play. 

Although the team has not gotten the results they want, he said he has seen consistent improvement.

Koski said improving the conditioning of the defenders to limit the amount of substitutions and keeping the lineup consistent for a full 90 minutes is important. He said this is one of the main causes of the late goals the team has continued to give up toward the end of matches. 

“(We’re) just trying to keep stability in the back, with our three center-backs and not having to sub (them),” Koski said. “We don’t have a lot of depth right now in our back line, and so we’re going to ask a lot of our three center-backs to play as much as they can, and by the time we hit Boston (University), we’re more game-fit than we were two weeks ago.” 

The Mountain Hawks defensive unit consists of three underclassmen, including sophomores Sam Davis and Fernando Cohate and first-year Trey Sheeler. 

“It’s a matter of just being patient with our development and understanding what it takes to be successful,” Koski said. “We feel like we have a good team that we believe is still going to be competitive in the league, but we also have a team that is still figuring each other out and learning our system.”

Davis said the younger players are still acclimating to the intensity of collegiate soccer but their greatest strengths are their motivation and work ethic. 

First-year defender Trey Sheeler clears from midfield in their game against St. Johns on Aug. 24. Sheeler scored his first collegiate goal in the game’s 54th minute. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Koski noted rapid improvement from the defense since the beginning of the season and is now shifting his focus to retooling the offense.

“We have a lot of winners on this team: guys who love to win, guys who have that dog mentality, that are hungry for it,” Davis said. “I feel like that, moving forward, will take us a long way.” 

The Mountain Hawks have managed four goals in their first five games with two coming from the penalty spot and one off a corner kick.


Robertson said he thinks the losses fall on both the offense and defense equally —  while the defense may concede goals, the offense needs to score more.

Robertson and junior forward Perry Kingson both scored their lone goals of the season off penalty kicks. 

Sheeler was able to convert a ball served into the box by senior midfielder Austen Carranza for the Mountain Hawks’ first goal of the season. 

“We’re very clinical on set pieces,” Davis said. “We see that as a big offensive moment where guys on the back line can get their names on the score sheet.” 

Robertson, one of Lehigh’s leaders in points this season, expressed a need for more offense created in open play. 

Despite managing 15 shots on target and allowing only 17, the Mountain Hawks boast a goal differential of -3. Robertson thinks the team needs to improve on goals in the open play.

“We’re getting chances, we just have to start finishing them,” Robertson said. “Over the last few games we’ve created a lot of chances, so the goals will start coming.”

Although the Mountain Hawks have had a slow start on paper, there is a sense of optimism within the team as they look forward to their first league match of the season on Sept. 16 at Boston University.


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