Mountain Hawks Drop Overtime Heartbreaker to Bryant

BETHLEHEM, Pa. A goal by Bryant's Lisa Vendel in the first overtime period was difference as the Lehigh fell 13-12 to the Bulldogs Monday at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

Lehigh trailed by three goals in the second half an rallied to take a 12-11 lead behind two goals from junior Carli Sukonik, but Olivia McCarthy sent the game to overtime with an unassisted goal with 59 seconds remaining before Vendel scored the only goal of overtime.

The loss drops the Mountain Hawks to 3-3 overall while the Bulldogs improve to 4-2.

"I thought we played really hard the whole game I was excited we came back," said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. "We had a few lulls where we had some execution things not go our way, but we fought hard and played tough until the end so I'm proud of that effort."

Senior Chelsea Retaleato and Sukonik led the Mountain Hawk offense with four and three goals respectively. Retaleato's four tallies were a career-best. Freshman Allison LaBeau added two goals and three assists for a five-point day. Senior goalie and reigning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week Alex Fitzpatrick, made 14 saves to keep Lehigh in the game.

LaBeau scored the first goal of the game on the Mountain Hawks first offensive possession. Retaleato added two more goals to give the Mountain Hawks a 3-0 lead with 22:22 remaining in the first half.

Lauren Descalzo scored Bryant's first goal and Katherine Keckeisen netted another to cut Lehigh's lead to 3-2. Retaleato completed her hat trick with another goal to increase Lehigh's lead to 4-2 with 17:41 left in the first half.

Bryant scored five of the next six goals to take a 7-5 lead, but Lehigh's Krista Dampman responded with her ninth goal of the season with 14 seconds left to make it 7-6 at halftime.

Bryant's Kimberly Sniffen opened the second half scoring and Descalzo added another give the Bulldogs a 9-6 lead with 18:41 left in the game. Retaleato struck back with her fourth goal a minute later to cut Bryant's lead to 9-7. Descalzo and Labeau traded goals and Sukonik added her first goal to cut Bryant's lead to 10-9 with 12:25 remaining in the game.

Both teams went on a 7:18 scoring drought before Bryant's Emily Coumbus scored to increase Bryant's lead to 11-9.

Lehigh staged a come back in the final five minutes, starting with a goal by Kendall Garden. Sukonik then scored one goal assisted by LaBeau and another goal a minute later on a free position shot to give Lehigh a 13-12 lead with 1:55 to play.

The Mountain Hawk defense couldn't hold off the Bulldogs as McCarthy scored with under a minute left in the game to force overtime.

Vendel scored what would end up being the winning goal with 55 seconds left in the first overtime stanza. The Mountain Hawks had a chance to tie when Sukonik took a shot on goal with 44 seconds left in the second overtime, but it was saved by goalie Brianna Watt and scooped up by Keckeisen to seal the Bulldog victory.

Bryant outshot Lehigh 31-27, but the Mountain Hawks had a 15-13 edge in ground balls. Lehigh collected 16 draw controls to Bryant's 13, but the Bulldogs won two crucial draws in the first overtime that ultimately led to the winning goal.

Descalzo led Bryant with four goals, while Haley Bloom added a goal and four assists. Watt made 11 saves for the Bulldogs.

The Mountain Hawks return to action Saturday when they travel to Hamilton, N.Y. to take on Patriot League rival Colgate at 1:00 p.m.

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