Lehigh Kicks off Season with Win over Mount St. Mary's

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Down 2-0 in the early going, Lehigh outscored Mount St. Mary's 10-2 over the final 58:12 on its way to a 10-4 win on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Carli Sukonik led the offense with four goals for her 11th career hat trick while senior Chelsea Retaleato added a career-high three goals. The defense stood tall, allowing just nine shots and just seven over the final 58 minutes. That included a shutout streak which exceeded 36 minutes, allowing the offense to open up a five-goal advantage.

"It was a good team win," said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. "We're happy to get multiple goals from several of our attackers and we were even happier to see our midfielders cause turnovers and put pressure on them."

Sophomore Megan Paytas added a goal and three assists while freshman Allison LaBeau dished a pair of assists. Freshman Julianne D'Orazio posted two groundballs and three caused turnovers while junior Kelly Scott had three groundballs and caused two turnovers. Sophomore Kendall Garden enjoyed a strong all-around game with a goal, assist, groundball and three caused turnovers.

The win marked the Mountain Hawks' 14th straight season-opening victory, this over a Mount St. Mary's team predicted to finish second in the NEC.

"It feels good, especially since Mount St. Mary's is a capable team," said Redfern. "To go into a negative hole like that from the start, and being a younger team, shows strong resilience to be able to come back with a good performance."

Sammie Knapp gave the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead at 28:12 of the first half, but Lehigh had an answer. Sukonik got Lehigh's scoring started at 25:54 before Paytas found Retaleato and Sukonik to make it 2-2 then 3-2 with 19:59 on the clock. Mount St. Mary's tied the score less than two minutes later, but the Mountain Hawks responded with five straight goals bridging the end of the first half and beginning of the second. A goal from freshman Lauren Beausoleil made it 8-3 with 21:24 remaining.

Just over eight minutes later, Mount St. Mary's broke Lehigh's 36:04 shutout streak, but goals from Garden and Retaleato rounded out the scoring for the 10-4 final.

Lehigh held a 19-9 edge in shots, 19-14 in groundballs and 9-7 in draw controls. Senior Alexandra Fitzpatrick stopped four of eight shots send her way while Mountaineers goalie Steph Rurkowski finished with eight.

The Mountain Hawks will remain home to host Binghamton on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. before hitting the road next Saturday (Mar. 1) at New Hampshire.

2014-02-22



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