Lehigh shuts out Colgate, 1-0 to conclude season
BETHLEHEM, PA. – The Lehigh men’s soccer team ended the spring 2021 campaign on Friday evening with a 1-0 win over Colgate at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The Mountain Hawks (2-4-0) suffered three losses and a drought of two games, and defeated the Raiders (1-4-1) for the second year in a row.
“It was nice for the seniors to come out and end the season with a win for them,” said deputy head coach Ryan Hess after the win. “It was also great for us to give a lot of the younger guys valuable minutes. But it was also nice to win on our home field. It was a good way to end a challenging spring in terms of results.”
Despite a matchup that was stuck 0-0 for most of the game, especially in the first 70 minutes, it was Dominic Flowers’ sophomore year who hit the board with his first career goal in the 72nd minute Mountain Hawks give the 1 -0 lead.
Lehigh registered the first three shots of the competition in the first 17 minutes when Colgate responded to a corner kick in the 23rd minute with two consecutive shots on goal from Aidan Davock and Bobby Foose, both saved by new goalkeeper Blake Koski.
Sophomore striker Jack Sarkos had a shot from long range in the 42nd minute when Foose scored his second shot on goal for Koski’s third save just a minute later.
While the Mountain Hawks defeated Colgate 4-3 in the first half, the Raiders shot Lehigh 3-1 in the last 23 minutes.
With first goalkeeper Jesse Ryan on the net for the first time this season, the Raiders had a number of chances to open the second half within five minutes. There were four shots in the 58th minute, including one for Ryan’s first career.
“We’re really impressed and proud of the way Jesse has grown,” said Hess. “He’s a great worker, he’s a great goalkeeper in training but we know injuries happen and we need to be prepared. He did everything we asked with a smile on his face. Really pleased to see him come in and stay clean tonight, which is important against a quality team like Colgate. “
Natan Rosen had the Mountain Hawks’ first real chance in the 69th minute with a shot saved by the Colgate goalkeeper.
A free-kick after a foul by Colgate hit the head of Hassane Diakho, who ricocheted off Dominic Flowers and gave Lehigh a 1-0 lead in the 72nd minute.
“We honestly talk a lot about being opportunistic and having a little luck,” said Hess. “Luck is a big part of this game, but the pressure that led to this half was also important. We asked the guys to improve the line-up a little and push a little higher. Some of it was just a little over -Product this print and you get some confidence when the ball falls in your direction, this is the game, the margins are small.
“Hopefully we can learn to be opportunistic and in that way create some of our own opportunities.”
The Raiders engaged in a frenzied exchange of fire looking for some sort of breakup, including a tough 80th-minute chance from Justin Weiss that saved Diakho in the air. Colgate scored the last seven shots of the game, but the Mountain Hawks held for a one-goal win.
Colgate prevailed against Lehigh 14-10, 11-6 of which in the second half. Colgate also led in corners (5-1) and fouls (8-3).
After making eight saves against Lafayette in his final break, Koski posted three while Ryan scored two in his first career game.
Rosen led the Mountain Hawks with three shots, while Flowers and Austen Carranza each had a pair.
Lehigh closed the 2021 spring season with a win and will turn his attention to preparing for another Patriot League championship in the fall of 2021.
“It’s exciting because we’re ending a competitive season that is a little different from a typical spring and we’re going to turn around and let the guys play competitive again in a few months,” said Hess. “So everything gets a little fresher, including tactics. The guys should be a little more confident and understand the roles and expectations better.
“We are delighted that this spring we have had the chance to play with games in a competitive environment that is different from normal.”
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