Lehigh Falls to Holy Cross on Senior Day

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Tied 4-4 at the half, Holy Cross scored four straight goals to take a 9-5 lead, which proved too much to overcome, as Lehigh fell 9-6 on a sunny Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Mountain Hawks will hit the road for Tuesday's Patriot League quarterfinals, traveling to Boston University to face the Terriers.

"We just didn't play well enough to win today," said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. "I thought Holy Cross played better than us and deserved to win."

Saturday was Senior Day as prior to the game, Alexandra Fitzpatrick and Chelsea Retaleato were recognized on-field for their contributions in the Brown and White.

"We have terrific seniors," said Redfern. "It's disappointing for them to not get a win today, but the things that they've done over the course of four years for our program are certainly much more meaningful than any one game."

Lehigh jumped out to an early 3-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game behind goals from junior Carli Sukonik, freshman Lauren Beausoleil and freshman Julianne D'Orazio. However, the Crusaders responded with the next four, holding the Mountain Hawks' offense at bay. Freshman Allison LaBeau ended a 17:30 Lehigh scoreless drought at the 5:32 mark, tying the score at four after one half of play.

The Crusaders scored first in the second half, but Sukonik answered with her second goal of the day barely over two minutes later to even the score once again. Holy Cross responded with the next four, beginning with two straight from Kate Martino in the span of 1:23 to make it 7-5 at 16:36. The Crusaders added goals at 11:21 and 6:06 for a four-goal advantage.

Freshman Krista Dampman scored at 3:43 to pull Lehigh within three with ample time remaining, but Holy Cross won the ensuing draw and Lehigh never got the ball back in its offensive end.

Sukonik posted three points behind two goals and one assist to lead the offense. Four other Mountain Hawks had a goal apiece including one goal and one assist from LaBeau. Junior Lauren Willcox led the defense with three caused turnovers while sophomore Kendall Garden had three groundballs, two draw controls and two caused turnovers.

Final shots were 24-13 in favor of the Crusaders while Lehigh held a 12-11 edge in groundballs. The Mountain Hawks finished with a 9-8 advantage in draw controls, but the Crusaders had an 8-2 edge in the second half. Fitzpatrick finished with seven saves (five in the second half) across Sarah Weber who made five.

Despite the loss, Lehigh still looks ahead to its first Patriot League Tournament appearance since 2011 when the Mountain Hawks travel to Boston University to face the Terriers. Lehighsports.com will post the gametime as soon as it becomes official.

"We're definitely happy for the opportunity and we certainly hope that we can finish a whole lot better than we did today," said Redfern. "All the teams in the league are very competitive so anything can happen on any given day. We have to come ready and ready to play hard."

* * * *

BETHLEHEM, Pa. Sophomore Kate Martino (Summit, N.J.) tallied three goals and one assist for points, senior captain Sara Hennessey (Winchester, Mass.) scored three goals and junior captain Laura Ryan (Stirling, N.J.) netted her 100th career goal as Holy Cross defeated Lehigh, 9-6, on Saturday afternoon at the Ulrich Sports Complex in Patriot League action in the regular season-finale. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 6-11 overall (4-4 PL), while the Mountain Hawks fall to 7-8 overall (4-4 PL).

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