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Lehigh pulls out last-second 9-8 thriller at Bryant

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team jumped out to a 5-1 halftime lead before Bryant came all the way back to tie the score at eight, but sophomore Allison LaBeau scored her fifth goal of the game with just 4.5 seconds remaining to give the Mountain Hawks a thrilling 9-8 win on a snowy Saturday afternoon. The win snapped Bryant’s four-game winning streak as Lehigh downed the defending NEC Champions. LaBeau now has 11 goals over her last two games. The Mountain Hawks wrap up their three-game-in-five-day stretch a perfect 3-0 as they improve to 6-5 overall.

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“I’m so proud of our team today,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “The schedule that we’ve had this week has been grueling .We finished off this game and we couldn’t be happier.”

Junior Kendall Garden enjoyed a strong game with two goals, four groundballs, three draw controls and a caused turnover. Senior Carli Sukonik and sophomore Lauren Beausoleil scored Lehigh’s other goals while freshman Kierstyn Voiro tallied two assists.

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Lehigh got off to a fast start, scoring five of the six first-half goals. After the teams traded goals, Garden scored to give the Mountain Hawks a 2-1 lead with 21:09 on the clock before LaBeau tallied a natural hat trick to end the half. Three straight LaBeau goals, including one with just eight seconds on the clock, made it 5-1 after 30 minutes of play.

After trading the first four second-half goals, the Bulldogs went on a 5-1 run including three straight in the span of 1:37 to even the score at eight with 2:41 remaining. The Mountain Hawks won the ensuing draw and held for the final shot, which LaBeau buried.

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“We’re really playing well and we’re unified on the offensive and defensive sides,” said Redfern. “We’re fighting so hard for one another.”

The Mountain Hawks finished with a 21-15 edge in shots and 15-9 advantage in groundballs. Bryant held a 13-6 edge in draw controls. Sophomore Taylor Tvedt made four saves for the Mountain Hawks while a pair of Bulldogs combined for 10 stops.

“This is a tremendous team. They’re really peaking at the right time,” said Redfern. “I want to shout out our entire coaching staff, including Eric (Markovcy), Julie (Ammary), Greg (Scullin), Shannon (McHugh) and Sammy (Cermack) for having this team get all these wins in a row. It’s really tough to be prepared for this many games in this short period of time. Lots of credit goes to our whole staff.”

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The Mountain Hawks will look to continue the momentum on Tuesday when they travel to Rutgers to face the Scarlett Knights. Opening draw is set for 7 p.m. live on the Big Ten Network.

Like Lehigh Women’s Lacrosse on Facebook and follow on Twitter for exclusive content, team updates and more.

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