Lehigh Drops Tight 6-5 Final at Lafayette

EASTON, Pa. - Lehigh scored three of the final four first-half goals, but Lafayette mustered the one and only goal of the second as the Mountain Hawks dropped a tough 6-5 final on Friday evening. Junior Alexandra Fitzpatrick was stellar between the pipes, making 13 saves while freshman Megan Paytas paced the offense with a pair of goals.

"I thought we had a strong effort," said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. "We played hard, Lafayette played hard. Our defense was definitely up to the challenge defending some talented players for Lafayette, but we just didn't finish our shots on the offensive end."

Fitzpatrick stopped 13 of 19 sent her way (68 percent) for her fourth straight double-digit save effort.

"She was tremendous," said Redfern. "I believe she's one of the best goalkeepers in the country. She's had a slow start, but she's back to playing the way she's capable of. She kept us in the game and gave us every opportunity to win."

Freshmen accounted for three of Lehigh's five goals behind Paytas' two and one from Kendall Garden.

Lafayette took a 2-0 lead following a Cammie Linville goal with 20:24 left in the first half. Lehigh answered with two in a row, from Paytas (at 18:23) and Garden (at 16:34) to quickly tie it up. The Leopards scored twice in the span of 22 seconds midway through the half to go back up by two (4-2), but Lehigh used a 3-0 run to take its first lead of the game. Chelsea Retaleato made it 4-3 while senior Julie McBrien tied it at four and Paytas' second (from Garden) made it 5-4 with 4:09 left in the first half.

However, the Leopards scored on a free position chance with 46 seconds left in the first, then a Jessica Rothstein goal midway through the second was the only offense either team could muster. Lehigh had six second-half shots, with four on goal as Lafayette goalie Meghan Curtin denied them all. Following a save off a Retaleato shot with 7:15 remaining, the Leopards held the ball the rest of the game without getting a shot off. Lehigh was unable to force a turnover as the squad fell to 1-2 in Patriot League play and Lafayette improved to 1-2.

Final shots were 24-14 in favor of Lafayette while the Leopards held an 8-5 edge in draw controls and 16-8 advantage in groundballs.

The Mountain Hawks return to action Sunday when they host Yale at 1:00 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex.


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