WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior Ryan Bertrando and freshman Doyle Tuvesson scored two goals for the Lehigh men’s soccer team within the first 17 minutes of the Mountain Hawks’ game at Holy Cross to help propel Lehigh to a 2-1 victory Saturday evening. The win secures the No. 4 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and Lehigh will host fifth-seeded Bucknell in a quarterfinal matchup Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Lehigh finishes the regular season with a 10-7-1 overall record and 5-3-1 league mark. The Mountain Hawks have also secured a 10-plus win season for the first time since 2006.
“The guys are certainly pleased to be able to host on Tuesday night,” said head coach Dean Koski. “After two difficult seasons, this year’s results really speak volumes about this group’s commitment to one another and their commitment to improving every day. Now we’ll start working on our next goal, which will be advancing to the semifinal and championship matches.”
The Mountain Hawks got on the board quickly as Tuvesson made a feed to Bertrando who worked his way into the Crusaders’ 18-yard box and sent a shot past the diving Holy Cross keeper Michael Thompson to put the Mountain Hawks up 1-0 in the seventh minute.
Less than ten minutes later, junior Jamie Luchini sent a ball on Lehigh’s end of the field to the streaking Tuvesson on the right side of the pitch. Tuvesson made a few crafty moves to fool the Holy Cross defense then sent the ball to the far post past the hands of Thompson as Lehigh quickly took a 2-0 advanatage.
Each keeper made their first save of the game before the Crusaders were able to get on the board in the 26th minute. Diego Ceron made a crisp cross to Joey DeVivo, who headed the ball into the top right-hand corner of Lehigh’s net to narrow the Mountain Hawk lead to 2-1. Holy Cross outshot the Mountain Hawks 4-1 in the final 19 minutes of the half, but Lehigh kept control of its 2-1 lead at halftime.
Kevin Wright replaced Thompson in goal for the Crusaders in the second half and saved a shot from Luchini on Lehigh’s first attempt of the final period. Nugent made two big saves in the 55th and 57th minutes on attempts from Eddie Viscount and Matt Villano to keep the Mountain Hawks ahead 2-1.
Nugent and the Lehigh defense combined to fend off four more Holy Cross shots as the Mountain Hawks held on to capture a 2-1 win over the Crusaders.
Nugent finished with four saves compared to Wright’s three and Thompson’s two. Holy Cross held a 13-11 shot advantage, while Lehigh controlled a 7-1 corner kick edge.
“We came out the way we wanted to in the first half and did a good job,” said Koski. “Holy Cross made things challenging for us in the second half and Ciaran made the saves he needed to make. Ben Davis did a really good job coming off the bench for us tonight. I’m proud that our guys came out and competed and found a way to scratch out a win.”
The Mountain Hawks will host Bucknell Tuesday in the Patriot League quarterfinals at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on the Patriot League Network. General admission tickets will cost $5 and those with a Lehigh ID can purchase tickets for $3.