BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Following a memorable 2018 season which saw it reach the Patriot League Championship Game, the Lehigh women's soccer team held its annual banquet on Sunday at the Gander Room near campus. The Mountain Hawks reflected upon the year, handing out team awards and much more.
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 senior goalkeeper Lidia Breen. Breen's presence on the Mountain Hawks has been strong for all four years, owning a team-first attitude who always has the best interest of the team in mind. When she has seen action, she has impressed, including in the season opener when she stopped all four shots sent her way in the second half of a 1-0 win over defending NEC Regular Season Champion Fairleigh Dickinson.
Junior Mary Casey was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Currently owning a 3.83 grade point average as a biology major, Casey has been named to the Dean's List every semester so far for a semester GPA of 3.6 or higher, while also posting a perfect 4.0 term last spring. Casey has been named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll following each of her first two seasons as well. On the field, she played in 18-of-20 games in 2018, including two starts – at Saint Joseph's and Colgate. Casey stepped into the lineup and played a key role in the second half of Lehigh's thrilling Patriot League Semifinal victory against Colgate.
Finally, senior Sabrina Mertz was named the Mountain Hawks' Athlete of the Year after tying for the team lead in goals (5) and points (12) to earn second team All-Patriot League recognition. All 12 of Mertz's points came in Lehigh's final eight games (five in the regular season and three in the Patriot League Tournament), coinciding with the Mountain Hawks' late-season surge to the Patriot League Championship Game. Mertz scored Lehigh's lone goal in the Mountain Hawks' first ever win at American. She had a career-high five points (two goals, one assist) against archrival Lafayette while scoring at Loyola and assisting on the game-winning goal in the 85th minute at Holy Cross. Mertz then scored the winning goal at Colgate in the Patriot League Semifinals to give the Mountain Hawks a thrilling 2-1 victory.
During the 2018 season, the Mountain Hawks advanced to their first Patriot League Championship Game since 2010 as fifth-seeded Lehigh beat No. 4 seed Bucknell and No. 2 seed Colgate in dramatic fashion before falling at No. 1 Boston University behind a 73rd-minute goal.
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