Lehigh Pulls Away from Villanova in Second Half
from press release
VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Lehigh broke an early 2-2 deadlock in the first half and went on to post a 12-8 victory over Villanova (2-6 overall, 0-1 BIG EAST) here on Tuesday evening at Villanova Stadium.
Senior Justine Donodeo scored three goals for the Wildcats while junior Maria Bowman added a pair. Carli Sukonik set the pace for the Mountain Hawks with three goals and a pair of assists while Julie McBrien contributed two goals and three assists.
Lehigh jumped out to an early two goal lead behind scores from Leigh Ann Torcivia and Lauren Murray in the game's first 1:37.
Sophomore Ali Brandenburg got the Wildcats on to the scoreboard with an unassisted goal at the 24:27 mark of the first to shave the deficit to 2-1. Bowman then converted a free position attempt with 20 minutes to play to even the count at two.
Chelsea Retaleato answered with a goal for the Mountain Hawks at 18:04 and Julie McBrien added another for Lehigh at 15:04 to re-establish a two goal cushion. Donodeo got one back for the Wildcats when she fired a free position shot past MaryLeah DiNisco in the Lehigh cage to pull VU back to within 4-3 with 13:27 to go in the period.
Goals from Carli Sukonik and Torcivia over a five minute stretch late in the half pushed the advantage to 6-3 with 7:25 left in the period. Sophomore Caroline Guidera scored the final goal of the half with 6:50 to play to bring the Wildcats within 6-4 at intermission.
Lehigh owned a 13-10 edge in first half shots while the Mountain Hawks had an 8-7 advantage in ground balls over the Wildcats. Junior Dani Wiemeier made five first half saves for the 'Cats, including two sharp ones at point blank range with a shooter uncovered near the cage.
A Murray goal just over two minutes into the second half made it 7-4 in favor of the Mountain Hawks. Donodeo responded off a feed from Bowman at 25:36. Her shot to the left of the Lehigh goal beat DiNisco to close the gap to 7-5. Brandenburg then found sophomore Ali Judge alone in front of the net and Judge beat the goalie to narrow the deficit to 7-6.
However, Lehigh picked up the next two goals, the latter coming from Sukonik with 19:34 to play to re-establish a three goal lead at 9-6. Sukonik followed that with another goal at 15:33 off a pass from Torcivia to craft a 10-6 advantage. Murray added another with 13:19 left in the period to extend the lead to 11-6.
Bowman picked up her second goal of the evening with 7:54 to go to bring Villanova back to within 11-7. Then Donodeo made a run from behind the cage and fired a shot into the net with 5:13 left to close the deficit to 11-8.
But Kelsey Yenco finished off a feed from Sukonik as Villanova applied heavy pressure to give the Mountain Hawks a 12-8 edge with 3:33 to go in the period.
There was no further scoring and the final was 12-8 in favor of Lehigh (6-5 overall).
Next up for the Wildcats is a home contest this Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. when Cal visits the Main Line.
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