Men’s Soccer Drops Rivalry Match to Lehigh
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – In a physical rendition of the rivalry matchup, the Leopards fell to Lehigh by final score of 2-0 on Saturday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
The contest had no scoring until the second half, as both teams jockeyed for possession and scoring chances in the first. Lehigh opened the scoring in the 61st minute, and followed that up with their second nine minutes later, taking advantage of a deflection off a Lafayette defender.
Both squads were able to generate some offensive pressure in the early goings, as Lehigh sent the first shot of the game high in the fifth minute. Lafayette earned its first chance in the 11th minute, as Ryan Goncalves delivered a corner kick into the box. Sophomore talisman Evan Vare couldn’t quite wrap his boot around it, sending the shot wide.
Senior keeper Brad Seeber was pressed into action in the 24th minute, as a shot from Mark Forrest came right at the netminder. Seeber calmly stopped the shot and fell on the ball to end the scoring threat. Lafayette responded with a chance in the following minute, catching the Lehigh goalkeeper Will Smith out of positon. Goncalves fired a shot on target, but it was blocked, keeping the score knotted at 0-0 for the remainder of the first half.
The second half opened with Lehigh throwing more men forward and increasing the pressure on the Leopards’ defense. Lafayette responded in the 58th minute as Chris Gomez sent a shot on frame, but his effort was turned away. The Mountain Hawks efforts paid off in the 61st minute as Mark Forrest slotted a quick shot past a diving Seeber.
Lehigh added its second nine minutes later. Their initial attempt was blocked by the Leopards’ defenders, but the ball took a deflection and landed at the feet of Oscar Greene, who sent a left-footed shot into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Lafayette had two final chances in the 85th and 87th minutes, as it earned two corner kicks. Lehigh was able to clear the efforts from Andrew Venezia out of the 18-yard box each time however. The Mountain Hawks threatened one final time with two minutes to play, as Joe DeStefano was forced into a highlight-reel goal line clearance to keep the score at 2-0.
Lehigh ended the night with a 16-7 advantage in shots, along with a 7-4 edge in shots on goal. The Mountain Hawks held a slight edge in corners, 6-4. Seeber ended with five saves for the Leopards, while Vare led the way with three shots.