BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Coming off an impressive 2-0 weekend, the Lehigh women’s soccer team is set to open Patriot League play at Army West Point Saturday night before heading to UMBC for a nonleague matchup against the Retrievers on Monday. Both games will kick off at 7 p.m. Most recently, the Mountain Hawks (4-2-1) swept a Big East weekend, defeating Villanova 1-0 before winning at St. John’s 2-1.
In Sunday’s game at St. John’s, sophomore Kayla Arestivo gave Lehigh an early 1-0 lead just 7:51 into the game, but the Red Storm evened the score just under 20 minutes later. However, in the 50th minute, Arestivo was tripped in the box and classmate Annika Jansa converted the ensuing penalty kick to give Lehigh a 2-1 lead, which proved to be the final. St. John’s had a flurry in the final minutes looking for the equalizer, but sophomore Sam Miller made a big save off a free kick before senior Amanda Stratton made a stop at the goal line and cleared the ball out of harm’s way.
Jansa, Miller and Stratton were all recognized for their efforts with Patriot League weekly awards (Midfielder, Goalkeeper and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively). Arestivo also garnered honorable mention recognition.
The Mountain Hawks will be searching for their second straight Patriot League opening victory, each on the road. Last year, Sidonie Warnecker scored the game’s only goal at Holy Cross. Overall, Overall, Lehigh is 2-0-1 over its last three league openers.
Army is 2-4-1 on the season, most recently falling at Colorado College on Sunday. The team’s wins are 1-0 against Iona and Air Force. The Black Knights also host New Hampshire this Thursday night. Clare Shea leads the team with four points on the season (one goal, two assists) while three others have scored one goal apiece. Sydney Cassalia has started all seven games in goal, owning a 1.16 goals against average and 0.724 save percentage.
The Black Knights lead the all-time series, 17-7-5. The Mountain Hawks won 1-0 last season, standing 1-1-1 against Army over the past three meerings. Lehigh won the program’s first Patriot League Championship in 2010 in West Point, beating Army by a 1-0 final in the title tilt.
UMBC is also 2-4-1 heading into a Thursday matchup vs. Saint Francis (Pa.). The Retrievers’ wins have come at Mount St. Mary’s (1-0) and Longwood (2-0). Christina Corbi, a freshman, leads UMBC with five points behind two goals and an assist while Nikki Saad is second in points via a team-leading three assists. Olivia Bronson has scored a goal, which was the game-winner at Mount St. Mary’s. Leah Roth has played every minute in goal, tallying a 0.94 GAA and 0.794 save percentage.
Lehigh leads the all-time series against UMBC, 2-0 winning in 2000 at home (2-1) and 2002 on the road (2-1).
Following Monday’s game at UMBC, the Mountain Hawks return home on Saturday, Sept. 23 to host Boston University at 4 p.m.
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