BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team jumped out to a 4-2 halftime, but Colgate responded in a big way in the second half, scoring the first eight goals on its way to handing the Mountain Hawks a 13-7 loss on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Senior Carli Sukonik led the Lehigh offense with four goals while junior Kendall Garden enjoyed a strong game with two groundballs, two caused turnovers, two draw controls and an assist.
“I thought we played a nice first half and did a lot of things that we liked, then I thought Colgate played a much stronger second half and capitalized on a lot of our mistakes,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “You get in the hole a little bit, it compounds then they got some fast break goals to pull away.”
Sophomore Allison LaBeau finished with two goals and one assist, having a hand in three of Lehigh’s four first-half goals. Freshman Haley Wentzel scored the Mountain Hawks’ other goal. Lehigh had two goals wiped out following stick checks.
“It’s an unfortunate part of the women’s game with the stick check,” said Redfern. “It’s tough to keep them legal in wet weather, especially with some of the strings we have. As much as we’re trying to keep them pulled tightly, sometimes it happens. I don’t think it was the difference in the game ultimately, but it was an incredible momentum shift that hurt our team.”
LaBeau opened the scoring just a minute and a half into the game. After Colgate pulled even, LaBeau’s second goal followed by a LaBeau dish to Sukonik made it 3-1 Mountain Hawks with 17:40 left in the first half.
The teams traded goals the remainder of the half as a freshman connection, Kierstyn Voiro to Wentzel made it 4-2 Lehigh with 9:28 on the clock, which proved to be the halftime score.
The Raiders immediately gained momentum in the second half as Colgate evened the score within the first 2:39. Ark scored her third of four goals with 23:15 remaining to give her team a 5-4 lead. Colgate wouldn’t trail the rest of the game.
The lead eventually reached six at 10-4, then the teams traded goals the rest of the half, including two goals from Sukonik, for the 13-7 final.
Final shots were 24-22 in favor of the Mountain Hawks while Lehigh held a 15-11 edge in groundballs. Colgate held a 12-10 advantage in draw controls, including 10-5 in the second half. Raiders’ goalie Jennie Berglin finished with nine saves while Lehigh sophomore Taylor Tvedt posted five before being relieved late in the game by freshman Elizabeth Nussbaum, who made one stop.
“We need to play two quality halves in order to win,” said Redfern. “All of our players need to own their roles and put forth a little more execution throughout the entire game.”
The Mountain Hawks will hit the road next Wednesday (Mar. 18) when they make the short trek to Easton to face archrival Lafayette. Opening draw is set for 7:30 p.m.