26 Oct Lehigh Set to Finish Regular Season Wednesday, Home vs. Bucknell
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Fresh off clinching the program’s fourth Patriot League Tournament berth in the last six seasons, the Lehigh women’s soccer team returns home for its regular season finale vs. Bucknell. Opening kickoff on Wednesday is 6 p.m. on ESPN+. Both Lehigh and Bucknell are officially into the tournament, but both will be playing for seeding. Wednesday’s winner will earn (at minimum) a home game in Sunday’s Patriot League Quarterfinals while the loser will be on the road.
The Mountain Hawks enter Wednesday in fifth place with a 4-3-1 league record and 13 points. The Bison are just one point better in fourth, holding a 4-2-2 mark and 14 points. Lehigh could still finish anywhere between the No. 3 and 6 seeds while Bucknell could still finish as high as first or second.
All four of Lehigh’s Patriot League victories have been via 2-1 finals. The first three saw neither team leading by more than one, until Saturday, when the Mountain Hawks took a 2-0 lead at American before holding on for the 2-1 victory. Both Lehigh goals were scored following incredible passes. The first saw junior Julianna Bonner find senior Courtney Supp in the box, who finished her fourth goal of the season in the 13th minute. Later in the 59th minute, freshman Hope Flanegin made a long pass from near midfield into senior Rebecca Van Siclen streaking into the box. Van Siclen found herself behind the goalkeeper and easily tapped it in. After the Eagles pulled within 2-1 off a corner kick in the 68th minute, freshman Abby Trainor made a pair of saves down the stretch to preserve the win.
Saturday’s game actually ended a streak of 10 straight Lehigh-American games ending in 1-0 finals. The Mountain Hawks are now 5-1 over their last six vs. the Eagles.
Incredibly, Bucknell can still finish anywhere between the No. 1 and No. 6 seeds, depending on Wednesday’s results around the league. The Bison stand 7-7-3 overall and are 0-1-2 their last three games, most recently falling at Army West Point, 1-0. Bucknell led 1-0 into the 72nd minute, but the Black Knights scored then and in the 88th minute for the victory. Rylee Donaldson leads Bucknell in goals (9) and points (19) while Abby Gearhart is second in points (14) via five goals and four assists. Teresa Deda leads the team in assists (11). Jenna Hall has started all 17 games in goal, tallying a 1.57 goals against average and 73.5 save percentage.
Bucknell leads the all-time series with Lehigh, 16-13-4, but the Mountain Hawks are unbeaten over the last three. The teams played to a scoreless draw in the spring at Bucknell while the season prior, Lehigh was victorious at home, 3-1. The meeting before that was the 2018 Patriot League Quarterfinals, which the Mountain Hawks won in dramatic fashion as Kayla Arestivo scored in the final seconds of double overtime for the 2-1 victory.
Following Wednesday’s game, the Mountain Hawks will prepare for the Patriot League Quarterfinals set for Sunday, Oct. 31.
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