WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior Sabrina Mertz scored in the 31st minute and junior Sam Miller stopped all six shots sent her way as the Lehigh women's soccer team picked up its first Patriot League win of the season, 1-0, and in the process won at American for the first time in program history. Mertz's goal came on the Mountain Hawks' first shot of the game and she made it count. All six of Miller's saves came in the second half, including a spectacular stop in the final minute to preserve the shutout victory.
"It's great to get a goal in the first half. I thought we played well enough to score," said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. "We a good free kick where we've had those opportunities in the past, but haven't converted. Sabrina hit it really well and put in the back of the net. In the second half, I thought American played really well. We haven't been in that position much before, so we looked a little nervous at times. But we had some opportunities to put it away and were close to getting a second goal. We were able to be strong and Sam made some big saves, too."
The game's first 30 minutes saw just two total shots, both by American and both off the mark. It was Mertz who put home her first of the season at the 30:16 mark, converting the game's first shot on target, coming on a free kick from about 25 yards out into the right side of the goal.
That goal would stand tall. Lehigh tallied the final five shots of the half, but couldn't beat American goalkeeper Morgan Lang a second time. In the second half, the Mountain Hawks had three of the first five shots, including shots on goal from senior Clare Severe and junior Sidonie Warnekcer, but couldn't add insurance.
Despite both teams pressuring, American fired the game's final eight shots, six of them on goal. Miller made her final save in the 90th minute, coming out aggressively to deny Morgan Brisson.
"Sam is a smart soccer player, and she reads the game really well," said Lambinus. "That's what she did for us today. She put herself in good positions to be aggressive. That's what we needed. We gave up a couple too many opportunities and it was good to have her in a good position."
Final shots were 12-7 in favor of Lehigh while the Mountain Hawks held a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. Miller's six saves while Lang made three.
"It wasn't our best performance, but to get it done down here at American for the first time in program history, it's a good win," said Lambinus. "Our team has continued to play and work on the next play, the next game. They've done a really good job of that. We know if we continue to do that, good things will happen."
The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Monday when they host Penn at 6 p.m.
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