WASHINGTON – Competing for the first time in 472 days, the Lehigh men's soccer team came out on the wrong side of a 2-0 final, getting shut out by American Saturday afternoon to open the spring 2021 season at Reeves Field. The loss snaps a nine-match unbeaten streak to Patriot League sides and an eight-match regular season unbeaten streak dating back to 2018.
Before this game, the Mountain Hawks hadn't dropped a Patriot League-opening decision since 2016 to Holy Cross.
American had started the contest off strong early, getting a shot on goal saved by junior goalkeeper Noah Sutherland right in the third minute. The Mountain Hawks had two shots miss out right in the fifth and 14th minutes, but to no avail.
After two shots missed the mark for AU, Jason Bouregy gave the Eagles the lead in the 21st minute, pushing American ahead 1-0.
Five Mountain Hawk shots went awry in the next 20 or so minutes including two from sophomore forward Jack Sarkos and a free kick attempt from Michael Tahiru, but the Eagles held on for the 1-0 halftime lead.
Lehigh got the first look of the second half on a shot from Tahiru that went bottom left and was saved by the American keeper Lorenzo Gordon. That proved to be the first of two Lehigh shots on goal in the contest.
After the Eagles were awarded a corner kick in the 71st minute, substitute Nick Dimitrijevic helped AU in a big way, scoring off the assist from Robert Matei to put them ahead, 2-0 in the 72nd.
Dominic Flowers had an opportunity to score in the 85th minute when he got free and put a body on the ball, but it went top right over the bar.
American's defense did its job and held the Mountain Hawks scoreless, getting the 2-0 victory Saturday afternoon.
Lehigh out-shot American, 11-10, but the Eagles held the edge in shots on goal at 4-1. AU led the way in corner kicks at 6-4, and the Mountain Hawks led with fouls at 10-8.
Natan Rosen, Jack Sarkos, Dominic Flowers and Austen Carranza each had a pair of shot attempts to lead Lehigh, while Michael Tahiru, Bratislav Petkovic and Thatcher Cooper had one.
Making his debut between the pipes, junior Noah Sutherland allowed two goals, but collected two saves.
Lehigh returns home to the Ulrich Sports Complex next Saturday, March 13 to host Army West Point at 6 p.m. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.
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