EVANSTON, Ill. – Battling its second Big Ten side in three days, the Lehigh men's soccer team came up on the short end of a 2-1 final against Wisconsin, Sunday at Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium.
An errant, wind-blown cross by the Badgers ended up being a go-ahead goal for Bobby Harris in the 60th minute, and Wisconsin held on for the final half hour to hand Lehigh (2-1) its first loss of the season. Wisconsin evens its season mark at 2-2.
"Wisconsin bottled us up pretty effectively," Lehigh head coach Dean Koski said. "They played with more maturity. When they went ahead they did a good job of killing the clock. We got frustrated trying to press and create chances. We showed some of our youthfulness and some of the early season things we'll need to figure out. That's why we can learn a lot about ourselves from Big Ten games like this."
The Badgers got on the board first in the fourth minute as Inaki Irribarren scored on a free kick that took a deflection and slipped past Lehigh's back line and in
A free kick helped the Mountain Hawks pull level eight minutes later as sophomore Josh Luchini buried a rebound after junior Trevor Koski's free kick was saved. For Luchini it was his second goal of the weekend.
"The keeper couldn't handle it and Josh did a good job of following up," Koski said. "Trevor struck a good ball, put it on frame, made the keeper try and make a save. It had enough on it where he couldn't hold it and Josh was opportunistic getting in and finishing it."
Lehigh had an opportunity to take the lead in the 39th minute, but the Mountain Hawks were denied a goal following a review by the Video Assistant Referee.
Wisconsin went back in front in the 60th minute with Lehigh unable to respond.
"It was a cross that blew into upper corner," Koski said. "Everyone thought it was going to out and over. It was a regular cross from the right side bending away from the goal and bent into the far upper 90. It was an unfortunate goal for us and a very fortunate goal for them."
Both teams finished with seven shots and each side had one corner kick. Senior Will Smith was credited with two saves, as was his Wisconsin counterpart Dean Cowdroy.
Luchini led Lehigh with two shots. The Mountain Hawks went 1-1 in their trip to Evanston after defeating Northwestern 2-0 Friday night.
"We're pleased with having this opportunity to get away from campus and have our guys spend time with one another," Koski said. "These are really good trips for team bonding and cohesion. We played two good Big Ten teams and are coming out 1-1. We learned a lot about ourselves and what we need to improve upon, and we have time to do that."
The Mountain Hawks will return home to host Seton Hall Saturday at the Ulrich Sports Complex with game time set for 6 p.m.