BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s soccer team and Villanova played to a scoreless draw through 90 minutes before the Wildcats drew a foul in Lehigh’s 18-yard box eight minutes into overtime and netted the game-winner on a penalty kick from Max Kroschwitz. Lehigh falls to 4-3-0 with the loss while the Wildcats improve to 3-3-1.
“We played well for 90 minutes until the overtime period where we struggled,” said head coach Dean Koski. “We gave them a few too many looks. At the end of play I was pleased with the performance it was just an unfortunate ending.”
Neither team was able to get a shot off until the tenth minute when a boot from Villanova’s Chris Bared sailed over the Lehigh goal. Both teams threatened with plays in their opponents’ 18-yard boxes over the next five minutes, but the defenses stood tall to limit the scoring opportunities.
The teams fought a chippy battle for the remainder of the first half, as neither team recorded a shot on goal. Lehigh recorded seven of its eight first-half shots in the final 25 minutes of the first half while not allowing a single attempt from the Wildcats. Freshman Jack Miskel had three chances in the final five minutes of the half and sent a ball into the outer netting of the goal as time expired to send the game to halftime scoreless.
Villanova keeper Will Steiner was forced to make his first two saves of the game less than two minutes into the second half on shots from sophomore Danny Gonzalez and freshman Doyle Tuvesson. The Wildcats had a golden opportunity to take a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute, but were called offside as the score remained 0-0.
The Wildcats outshot Lehigh 9-8 in the second half and started to pick up momentum towards the end of the period. Villanova’s Hayden Harr dribbled his way around the defense to put himself in a one-on-one situation with Lehigh keeper Ciaran Nugent. As Harr fired a shot at the left post, Nugent made a diving save to send the contest into overtime just a minute later.
Villanova controlled possession for much of the overtime period. Nugent made a strong save on another one-on-one situation less than two minutes into the extra period. Five minutes later, Kroschwitz drew the foul, took the penalty kick and skirted the ball past Nugent’s fingertips as the Wildcats walked off with a 1-0 win.
Nugent finished with five saves compared to Steiner’s six. The teams both tallied 17 shots while Lehigh held an 8-5 corner kick advantage. Junior Jamie Luchini led Lehigh with six shots.
The Mountain Hawks begin Patriot League Play Saturday at 7 p.m. against No. 14 American at the Ulrich Sports Complex. General Admission tickets will cost $5 and students, faculty and staff will receive free admission with a Lehigh ID. The Goodman Bus Service will depart the Dialogue Center on Taylor Street 45 and 15 minutes prior to game time to transport students to the game and return post-game. The matchup will also be broadcast free of charge on the Patriot League Network.