HANOVER, N.H. — Coming off a game where goal-scoring wasn't a part of the outcome for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, the team failed to tally a goal against Dartmouth on Tuesday night, but it ended up not mattering, as the teams played to a 0-0 draw after two overtimes.
Despite not being able to get the ball into the net, both Lehigh and Dartmouth didn't have a difficult time figuring out ways to create shot opportunities.
The Mountain Hawks had 19 shots for the night, five of which were on goal. The Big Green had 11 shots, also with five shots on goal. Lehigh led the way with six corner kicks to Dartmouth's three.
As both offenses kept getting the ball into the opposing team's zone, both goalkeepers kept the team's off the scoreboard. Dartmouth goalkeeper Alex Budnik made five saves, while junior Will Smith also stopped five shots en route to his eighth shutout of the season.
"I thought that we did what we set out to do from the get-go, we were solid defensively and we created enough opportunities to score," said head coach Dean Koski. "We just couldn't quite create the final product.
"This was a big mid-week match for both us and Dartmouth, we both have important games this upcoming weekend. We subbed a lot more than we usually do, but that's normal in situations like these."
The Mountain Hawks did in fact get a little more use out of their bench than they are usually accustomed to, as junior Matthew Peralta played 93 minutes off the bench, junior Tommy Dokho played 67 minutes, while sophomores Sam Steinberg and Ikem Mbalewe and freshman Patrick Adams all saw time off the bench.
As for the shots, the Mountain Hawks were offensively led by senior Mark Forrest, who attempted 10 shots, including three on goal. Forrest is currently three points away from 100 on his career, as well as two goals away from his 50th all-time at Lehigh.
Perhaps the biggest moment of the match occurred in the closing seconds of regulation when sophomore Stevo Bednarsky set up a gorgeous cross to Dokho who executed the bicycle kick to perfection for what was thought to be the game-winning goal. However, the Mountain Hawks were called offsides and the game went to OT.
THIS is how we go into overtime. Scoreless at the end of regulation. pic.twitter.com/Oo1PHvjOfh— Dartmouth M Soccer (@DartmouthMSoc) October 17, 2018
For the second match in a row, Lehigh was held scoreless. The Mountain Hawks have only managed to score two goals in their last four games.
"We're definitely focused now on playing that next game," said Koski. "Our season continues after tonight. We have our sights set on American on Saturday. I thought we made some important improvements (from the last game vs. Lafayette), other than scoring goals, but it's on to American for us."
Luckily, the Mountain Hawks' draw doesn't count in the grand scheme of where they are at in the Patriot League standings. At 4-1-0 in the league, Lehigh currently has 12 conference points, two ahead of Loyola and Bucknell, tied for second place.
Lehigh faces American at 6 p.m. on Saturday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex in the second and final 'Summit Series' game of the season. Tickets will be on sale for $5. The game will also be streamed live on the Patriot League Network.
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