BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh women's soccer team celebrated the 2017 season by holding its annual awards banquet on Sunday at the Gander Room near campus. The Mountain Hawks honored their senior class of Alyssa Riporti, Amanda Stratton, Becca Sherry, Adrian Vitello, Lexi Chang and Grace Correll and handed out team awards.
Vitello was named Lehigh's Athlete of the Year after being named first team All-Patriot League and All-Region for a second straight season. Vitello started all 18 games in the midfield, dishing two assists, which came at Temple and Lafayette. The Lafayette assist came on what proved to be the game-winning goal. Vitello fired 32 shots on the season, fourth on the Mountain Hawks, but her impact is felt far beyond statistics as she's an integral part of Lehigh's efforts offensive and defensive efforts.
For a third consecutive season, Stratton received the team's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Named a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, the Bioengineering major became the eighth student-athlete in program history to earn Academic All-District honors. Stratton, who owns a stellar 3.83 cumulative GPA, has been named to the Dean's List in every semester of her college career, including a perfect 4.0 GPA in the fall of 2016. On the field, Stratton started all 18 games in 2017 for a defense that allowed just 0.67 goals per game.
Presented to the student-athlete who, in the eyes of the coaching staff, made significant contributions to her team in terms of attitude, improvement or special leadership, the Coaches Award went to Riporti. Like Vitello, Riporti was named first team All-Patriot League and third team All-Region for a second consecutive year. Riporti helped anchor a Lehigh defense that allowed 12 goals in 18 games, the exact same marks as 2016. As a team, Lehigh led the Patriot League in goals against average while pitching nine shutouts and allowing a goal or fewer in 14-of-17 games. The Mountain Hawks earned shutouts in six of their nine regular season league contests. Riporti played all but six minutes on the year, helping the defense earn league shutouts over Army West Point, Boston University, American, Lafayette, Loyola and Holy Cross. Named a candidate for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, Riporti was Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week following Lehigh's weekend wins at Penn and Temple.
The Mountain Hawks wrapped up the 2017 season with a 9-5-4 record following a heartbreaking Patriot League Quarterfinal defeat at Colgate in overtime. Miller tied a career-high nine saves in the contest. The 2017 season saw plenty of highlights, including a 27-day stretch without a loss (from Sept. 3 to Sept. 30), a weekend sweep of Big East opponents Villanova and St. John's and winning four-of-five games to close out the regular season. Five Mountain Hawks earned All-Patriot League recognition, most since they also had five honorees during Lehigh's 2010 league championship campaign.
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