LEWISBURG, Pa. – Sophomore Maggie Wadsworth evened the score at one in the 81st minute, but Bucknell responded less than four minutes later to defeat the Lehigh women’s soccer team, 2-1 on Wednesday evening. Sophomore Sam Miller was strong in goal, making six saves. Despite the loss, the Mountain Hawks (7-4-4, 3-2-2 Patriot League) have clinched a Patriot League Tournament berth for a second straight season due to out-of-town scores.
Bucknell scored early (in the 19th minute) and fired the game’s first five shots, but the Mountain Hawks picked up the pressure as the game progressed, leading to the tying goal.
“That’s a team that won the championship last year,” said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. “Their front players are really good in the attacking group and they caused us a lot of problems. Give them a lot of credit. I thought we were better matching up with the physicality of the game in the second half and we just have to do that throughout the game. We have to do a better job of matching up to that physicality.”
The Bison took a 1-0 lead at the 18:28 mark as Alex Catanzarite took a pass in the right side of the box, then fired a rocket into the left corner of the goal.
Senior Adrian Vitello tallied Lehigh’s first two shots while Wadsworth recorded the Mountain Hawks’ first shot on goal in the 45th minute, but Bucknell went into halftime with a 1-0 advantage.
Bucknell recorded eight of the first 10 second-half shots, but Miller made four saves in that span to keep Lehigh’s deficit at just one. The Mountain Hawks answered with strong pressure, and it led to the equalizer. Off a corner kick, sophomore Annika Jansa took a shot from distance. Bison goalkeeper Dani Kaufman made the initial save, but Wadsworth put home the rebound in traffic to even the score at 1-1 at the 80:23 mark.
Less than five minutes later, the Bison had an answer as Maddie Mulford beat Miller high on a centering feed to give Bucknell a 2-1 lead at the 84:50 mark, which proved to be the final.
“Bucknell came out in the first half and played really well. We went down a goal, but I liked the fight that we showed in the second half,” said Lambinus. “If we can show that, we’re going to get some good results. I’m not concerned; I’ll take this team in a fight against anybody.”
Final shots were 19-7 in favor of Bucknell while corner kicks were even at five. Miller made six saves across Kaufman, who recorded three.
“Bucknell does different things than other teams that we’ve played and it puts Sam under a different pressure than she sees on a regular basis,” said Lambinus. “But I thought she handled it well and she battled. Adrian Vitello was all over the field causing lots of problems, and I thought Clare Severe had a really good game.”
The Mountain Hawks return home for their final two regular season games, beginning on Saturday when they host Loyola at 5 p.m.
“I know we have more in us. I know we do,” said Lambinus. “I’m looking forward to getting into the last couple games, see how it plays out and see what happens in the postseason.”