Lehigh Opens Patriot League Play vs. BU Friday, Travels to LIU Sunday
BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – On a 3-2 aggregate, the Lehigh field hockey team prepares for Friday’s Patriot League opener as the Mountain Hawks host Boston University on ESPN + at 4pm. Lehigh will close his weekend at LIU on Sunday lunchtime on the NEC Front Row. The Mountain Hawks win 3-0 at home for the first time since 2008 after beating Georgetown 2-1 and did not include non-league games). Prior to 2019, there has been no record of entry into the Patriot League since 2000.
Lehigh’s offense continues to impress, scoring multiple goals in each of the first five games of the season for the first time since 1983. The Mountain Hawks’ 14 goals in five games are the most since 2004.
On Sunday Lehigh took a 2-0 lead behind the goals of junior Sarah Bonthuis and senior Leah Mullery in the first half. Bonthuis has also assisted with Mullery’s goals and now has a team lead of 11 points in the season (four goals, three assists). Bonthuis has scored at least one point in all five games so far. Georgetown moved in late in the first half, but that’s as close as the Hoyas would come. Lehigh’s defense was high, led by junior goalkeeper Maddie Kahn, who made seven saves – including some spectacular first-half stops and three major saves in the final 30 seconds from the Georgetown penalty corners.
The win came two days after a narrow 4-3 defeat at La Salle, in which fifth grader Drew Pecora scored a career high of five points with two goals and two assists. As after losing to Villanova at the start of the season (in the same 4-3 final), the Mountain Hawks recovered for the third time in a row and won their home game on Sunday.
Boston University is 2-4 in the young season, with two of the losses attributable to the nation’s third-placed teams at the time – Iowa and Boston College. BU won against Monmouth (2-1) and New Hampshire (3-1). Payton Anderson leads the Terriers in goals (3), assists (2) and points (8). Casey Thompson is also tied for the team leader with two assists. Rachel Borzymowski has four defensive saves, while Caroline has seen Kelly in goal most of the time (210: 00) and scored 2.29 goals against the average and 77.1 percent saves. Kate Thomason also played 137:25, recording a GAA of 3.06 and a save percentage of 53.3.
The Terriers lead the all-time series 7-1, with all meetings taking place in the Patriot League era when BU joined the league in the fall of 2013. The last meeting at Lehigh, the Mountain Hawks won 2 1 in overtime in 2019 when Pecora scored the game winner (which was also their 14th goal of the season).
LIU are 1-4 in the season after a 3-1 defeat at Hofstra on Wednesday. The Sharks’ win came 2-1 at home against Georgetown, while they also lost in Bucknell (2-1 in extra time), Columbia (3-1) and Providence (5-2). Last spring, LIU was 4-2. Sammy Bell leads LIU with four goals and eight points, while Felicia King is right behind with four points (one goal, team lead two assists). Rachel Vellis played between the pipes every minute, recording a GAA of 2.79 and a save percentage of 58.8.
LIU leads the all-time series with Lehigh 2-1. The Mountain Hawks won their first ever meeting in 2017 (when they were LIU Brooklyn) 1-0, but LIU won in both 2018 and 2019.
After that weekend, Lehigh will see a pair next weekend – in Colgate on Saturday (September 25th) and at home against Sacred Heart on Sunday (September 26th).
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