Mountain Hawks Open Patriot League Play at Bucknell Friday


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Mountain Hawks open Patriot League play at Bucknell Friday

3/5/2015 10:20:00 AM

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team will open its Patriot League schedule at Bucknell this Friday in Lewisburg, Pa. Opening draw is set for 5 p.m. at Graham Field at Holmes Stadium. The Mountain Hawks currently sit at 2-2 after falling to Fairfield on Saturday afternoon by the score of 5-4. Fairfield scored three unanswered goals in the second half to hand Lehigh a tough defeat.

Defensively, the Mountain Hawks played very well against the Stags as they only gave up five goals. However, Lehigh’s attack was unable to capitalize on the stellar play of its defense. Senior defender Lauren Willcox led the way, earning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors for her performance. She finished the game with two groundballs and a career-high five caused turnovers. Senior Kelly Scott was also strong with four groundballs and two caused turnovers while seniors Michelle Abramczyk and Carli Sukonik, junior Kendall Garden and freshman Kierstyn Voiro all had multiple caused turnovers as well. In total, the Mountain Hawks caused 18 of Fairfield’s 22 turnovers.

As a defense, Lehigh allowed just 14 goals over its three-game homestand (4.7 per game). The Mountain Hawks also allowed just 38 shots over those three games. Offensively, sophomore Allison LaBeau has led the way this season with 12 points (eight goals, four assists) while senior Carli Sukonik has 10 points (eight goals, two assists). Garden owns seven points (five goals, two assists), eight groundballs and a team-high 12 caused turnovers.

The Bison of Bucknell are enduring an up-and-down start to their season. They are currently 2-3 and have picked up wins over Saint Francis (Pa.) and Wagner with losses against Manhattan, Penn State and most recently, Villanova. Lehigh has also faced nationally-ranked Penn State: Lehigh lost 15-7 while Bucknell was defeated 17-2. Emily Kookogey leads the Bison in scoring with 12 points (eight goals, four assists) while Maddy Molinari has a team-high nine goals, along with two assists. Lucia Smircich leads the way in groundballs (13) and caused turnovers (10) while Gretchen Richter has a team-high 24 draw controls. Elizabeth Duswalt has started all 15 games in goal and owns an 11.62 GAA and .396 save percentage.

This marks the second straight season Lehigh will play Bucknell in its Patriot League opener. Last year, the Mountain Hawks defeated the Bison 10-4 at the Ulrich Sports Complex behind a career-high 17 saves from goalkeeper Alexandra Fitzpatrick who stopped 11-of-13 in the second half. Garden and Krista Dampman both notched hat tricks as Lehigh won its fifth straight game over Bucknell to improve to 26-12 all-time against the Bison. The first-ever meeting between the two sides came in 1976, an 11-10 Lehigh win in overtime.

After Friday’s game, the Mountain Hawks will travel to Jacksonville for a Tuesday afternoon showdown in Florida. Opening draw is set for 3 p.m. and will be broadcast live online via ESPN3.

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