BRONX, N.Y. – Lehigh women's soccer's defense continued to impress, posting its third shutout of the young season as the Mountain Hawks walked away of Sunday's game at Fordham with their second straight scoreless draw (and third of the season). Lehigh fired 16 second-half shots, including nine in the first 10 minutes of the stanza, but couldn't find the back of the net. On the other end, junior Miranda Royds made four saves in goal to improve her season save percentage to 86.8 and goals against average to 0.71.
"I thought we brought way more energy and intensity in the beginning of the second half," said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. "There was a purpose to what we were doing and we created those chances. I'll be honest with you, I think we lost confidence when we created those chances and didn't score. We noticed a lot of players putting their heads down and we seemed to lose the confidence to keep doing it."
Freshman Julianna Bonner was in the middle of the early second-half chances, firing four shots herself in the first 10 minutes. Senior Kayla Arestivo also had two shots on goal in the matter of moments in the 55th minute.
Perhaps the Mountain Hawks' best chance was in the 65th minute as Bonner unleashed a rocket of a shot that looked ticketed for the back of the net, but sailed high. Another freshman was in the middle of action later in the half, as Ryelle Shuey recorded three shots in less than five minutes of action between the 69th and 74th minutes. Shuey later added her second shot on goal of the half in the 78th minutes. It was sandwiched between four Fordham shots as the Rams surged towards the end of the stanza. Royds had to make her only save of the half in the 77th minute, but it was a good one, denying a dangerous chance off a corner kick to keep the game scoreless.
The two overtime periods saw just one combined shot, by Bonner, as each team was aggressively attacking, but unable to get much going in the final third.
Fordham held a 5-3 edge in first-half shots, with Royds making three saves for the Mountain Hawks. Royds' four saves for the game came across the Rams' Kelly LaMorte, who tallied six.
Final shots were 20-10 in favor of Lehigh while the Mountain Hawks held a 7-4 edge in corner kicks.
After four straight on the road, Lehigh returns home for three in a row, beginning on Friday vs. UMBC at 6 p.m. The Mountain Hawks also host Saint Joseph's next Sunday at 3 p.m.
"We have two more nonleague games next weekend before we get to the Patriot League, so we need to look at the good things that we've done and try to figure out the best group and combinations," said Lambinus. "As a coaching staff, we're struggling with that right now – which groups work well together and trying to keep a bit of a rhythm. We are trying to rotate the players a little more, but maybe they're just not finding enough rhythm to go out there, be able to execute and get to know each other.
"It's just going to take time… purposeful time."
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