BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh concluded its opening weekend home stand on Sunday with a 1-0 loss to George Washington in a late afternoon matchup at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
The Mountain Hawks (1-1) generated many chances on the day and produced a 14-8 shot advantage over the Colonials (1-1) in addition to a 9-4 advantage in corners, but Lehigh only managed to put one shot on target in the match.
GW tallied the game's lone goal in the 57th minute on a tally by Brady O'Connor. The freshman midfielder finished a diving header inside the six-yard line after receiving a cross from Koby Osei-Wusu on the right side.
"We did not have a good start and these are games where we need to rely on our upperclassmen to help lead us through situations where we might be flat and a little tired. I thought we lost our way today, but we have an opportunity to learn from our lapses and improve," said Dean Koski. "We definitely felt the ill effects of playing on Friday night and we had a lot of tired legs out there, but again at the end of day we needed our veterans to step up and lead this team."
The first quality scoring chance came in the 30th minute when Doyle Tuvesson recorded Lehigh's lone shot on goal for the game. The junior forward got a jump on his defenders up the right side and was able to run on to the ball following a perfectly placed pass from Trevor Koski. The defenders collapsed on Tuvesson as he approached the 18-yard line and forced him to send a shot into the waiting arms of GW keeper Thor Hofs.
The Mountain Hawks survived a scare in the 37th minute when a diving attempt by Will Smith to intercept a crossing pass inside the box left a vacant net for GW's Peirce Williams on the backside. Luckily for Lehigh, veteran defender Matt Morana had marked Williams and forced him to send a shot sailing over the net.
Lehigh had one more quality chance in the first half when freshman Ikem Mbalewe found a soft spot in the GW defense. Mbalewe maneuvered inside the 18-yard line and had a good look, but put a little too much on the shot as it went over the crossbar.
The Brown and White compiled a string of corners early in the second half after going behind 1-0, but failed to capitalize on the opportunities. The best chance came on a corner in the 58th minute when a low strike through traffic by Zarin Tuten curved wide of the net.
Mark Forrest had the last quality look for Lehigh on a free kick opportunity in the 71st minute, but the top striker could not find the proper connection as he shot landed wide right from approximately 20 yards out.
"Our goal was to come out of this weekend 2-0, we obviously fell short of achieving that goal," said Koski. "We beat a good team on Friday and lost to a team today that came out ready to compete. At the end of the day we have to move on. These are games we have to learn and grow from."
The Mountain Hawks begin a stretch of three road games, beginning with a trip to Ohio State on Friday. Lehigh will return home to face Seton Hall on Tuesday, September 19.