BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Following a first half that did not feature a goal, Loyola University Maryland and Lehigh University combined for three in the second half's first 11 minutes, but the Mountain Hawks came out on the winning side, 2-1, Saturday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
"Lehigh pressed and scored in the right moments," head coach Naomi Meiburger said. "They pressed the first 15 minutes of the second half and were clearly the better team for those 15 minutes. In the end, we just weren't quite able to mount the comeback to overcome the deficit."
Lehigh (6-4-3 overall, 1-2-2 Patriot League) spent no time getting on the board after returning from the halftime break. In the 47th minute, graduate student Colleen Folan saved a shot from close range, but the rebound found the feet of Lehigh's Adrian Vitello, and she fired a shot high past the hands of Folan for the first goal of the contest.
Loyola was called for a foul four minutes later, and Lehigh's Sabrina Mertz took the free kick just inches outside the 18-yard box. Her attempt skipped across the grass and into the back of the net for the Mountain Hawks' eventual game-winning goal.
In the 56th minute, Loyola (4-7-1, 2-2-1) pulled within one when sophomore Alyssa Bonnesen beat her defender and sprinted toward the endline. The forward turned to her left and sent a cross to senior Charlotte Miller who booted a shot into the top right corner of the goal.
Bonnesen tried to get Loyola on the board with its equalizer, but Lehigh's defense blocked the shot in the 70th minute.
The Greyhounds had another chance to tie the game in the 86th minute when junior Jess Soldiviero's shot was punched away by Lehigh's goalkeeper Ani Nahapetian. The save resulted in back-to-back corner kicks for Loyola, but the Greyhounds were unable to net a second goal before the final whistle.
Folan played all 90 minutes for the Greyhounds, recording three saves against the Mountain Hawks. Nahapetian collected five saves in goal for Lehigh.
Throughout the match, Lehigh held a 14-12 advantage in shots, while Loyola led in corner kicks, 3-2.
Loyola returns to Ridley Athletic Complex, Saturday, Oct. 17, to host Army West Point at 7 p.m.