TEANECK, N.J. – The Lehigh men’s soccer team lost a hard-fought battle at Fairleigh Dickinson by a score of 1-0 on Monday night. The Knights scored the decisive goal right as the game opened, and it proved to be too much for the Mountain Hawks to overcome.
“It’s a mental and emotional set back when you give up a goal in the first 30 seconds of the game,” said head coach Dean Koski. “In the second half we played the way that I would have hoped we played from the first whistle. We played with intensity and vigor, and we were very committed to finding that goal. It’s a good lesson for us as a team. We have to play every second of the game, not every minute and not half to half.”
The Knights struck 30 seconds into the game on a left sided cross from Nico Wright that was able to find the foot of David Cornwell who put the ball into the lower left corner of the net to take a 1-0 lead.
After two more shots and a corner kick from FDU, Lehigh began to pressure the Knights. Sophomore Kyle Chin was able to fire off a shot that went wide, and senior James Meyerkord tallied a shot that was blocked. Goalkeeper Kevin Motylewski made his first save in the 19th minute on a shot from FDU’s Godfred Baafi. Mountain Hawk junior Ali Famili fired off Lehigh’s first shot on goal in the 45th minute, but the Knights’ keeper Jacob Lissek was able to keep the ball from the back of the net just before halftime.
The Mountain Hawks carried their momentum into the second half when junior Brian Suchoski fired a shot on goal in the 49th minute, but Lissek made the save once again. The Knights returned to threaten the Mountain Hawks with a barrage of shots over the next 30 minutes. Lehigh freshman Danny Gonzalez answered in the 85th minute with two shots of his own, but neither could find the back of the net. Freshman Matt McCombs had the best scoring chance of the night in the final seconds of the game, but Lissek made a diving save to his left to secure the victory for the Knights.
Fairleigh Dickinson held a 15-9 shot advantage, but only three of the 15 were on goal. Motylewski finished the game with 2 saves, as Lissek finished with five. Gonzalez, Suchoski and Meyerkord ended the game with two shots apiece. The Mountain Hawks fell to 0-2 on the season, while the Knights improved to 2-0.
“Meyerkord worked really hard, created opportunities and was dangerous against a good team,” said Koski. “Gonzalez showed some maturity today and grew up a little bit against a team that is very mature and has a lot of international players.”
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Albany for a 7 p.m. match.