04 Oct Lehigh looks to remain perfect in league play against Army West Point Saturdaypost was originally published on this site
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Following one of the most impressive all-around team performances of the season on Wednesday evening at Colgate, the Lehigh men’s soccer team takes a four-game winning streak back to the Ulrich Sports Complex on Saturday night against Army West Point. The Mountain Hawks are coming off wins over American, Penn, Boston University and most recently, Colgate and sport an overall record of 7-2-0 and an unblemished Patriot League record of 3-0-0 after the team’s first nine games of the campaign.
After all that success, Lehigh is off to its best start in the program since 2006 when the Mountain Hawks started the year 7-1-1 and ended up finishing 15-2-2 en route to a Patriot League regular season title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
There are definitely similarities between that team and this team based on head coach Dean Koski‘s current roster’s up-and-down depth.
Heading into Saturday’s contest, there might not be a player around that is hotter than sophomore forward Josh Luchini, who tallied his ninth goal of the season on Wednesday against the Raiders. Luchini has now scored in three straight games and has a goal in seven of the Mountain Hawks’ nine games this season. In addition to Luchini, junior co-captain Stevo Bednarsky has also seen his stats rise as of late, scoring a goal in each of his last two games including the game-winner in the 71st minute against Colgate. Those two goals for Bednarsky are the first two of his career, as he has finally found that getting shots to the back of the net are contagious.
With goal scoring has come assists for Lehigh this year, as the team has registered 16 total assists so far with Trevor Koski and Patriot League Midfielder of the Week Alex Greene leading the way with four. Michael Tahiru, Natan Rosen and Nick Jennings each have two to their credit.
While the defense and senior goalkeeper Will Smith have allowed a goal in each of their last five contests, the Mountain Hawks gave up just one late goal to the Raiders on Wednesday. In that game, he made a season-high five saves against the Raider attack. Smith comes into the weekend with three shutouts and a goals allowed average of 1.00 with a save percentage of .735.
Army West Point has had a better stretch than they are currently experiencing, having lost its last four games dating back to Sept. 21 at Loyola. The last time the Black Knights came out victorious was against Mount St. Mary’s on Sept. 17 at home. That was also the last time Army registered a goal. Senior Keenan O’Shea leads the team with three tallies this season as well as 25 shots. Sam Epitime has the team-lead with two assists, while Christian Takaki and John Poncy have each picked up a helper. Goalkeeper Justin Stoll has registered just over 733 minutes in net this season with a GAA of 1.72, while making 24 saves with a save percentage of .632 and one shutout so far this year.
The Black Knights lead the all-time series with Lehigh, 22-21-6, however the Mountain Hawks have won the last two matchups, most recently getting the 3-0 victory in West Point on Sept. 22, 2018. Luchini scored twice and Jennings added another to give Lehigh its first league victory of the 2018 season.
Saturday’s matchup will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network with coverage beginning at 6 p.m.
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