BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Seven different players scored a goal and nine Mountain Hawks had at least one point as the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team picked up its second win of the weekend, beating Niagara 14-7 on Sunday. Senior Carli Sukonik and sophomore Lauren Beausoleil paced the offense with four points behind three goals and one assist apiece while junior Kendall Garden also tallied a hat trick.
The Mountain Hawks’ defense impressed, causing 15 of Niagara’s 21 turnovers on the afternoon. The Purple Eagles didn’t score until 9:53 left in the first half as Lehigh took a 7-2 lead into halftime.
“In the first half, we definitely looked better and finished our shots,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “The second half was a little more mediocre, but it was a step in the right direction either way.”
Sukonik’s four-point effort comes one game after scoring four goals on Friday vs. UC Davis. Along with Garden’s hat trick, she tallied two groundballs and three caused turnovers. Beausoleil had a game-high five draw controls to go with her four points.
“We have some first-year players who put some points up for us today,” said Redfern. “Balanced scoring is part of the name of the game for being a really good team, so we’re happy about that.”
Five different Lehigh players tallied multiple caused turnovers, led by the three from both Garden and senior Kelly Scott.
“We’re an aggressive defense,” said Redfern. “I thought we had some really nice trap double teams on the sideline. Our senior defenders really got out there and took some great risks. Kelly Scott and Lauren Willcox came up with some nice groundballs for us, so it generated a lot of possession.”
After more than eight minutes without a goal, Beausoleil opened the scoring with 21:58 left in the first half off a free position shot. That began a 5-0 Mountain Hawks’ run over the next 10:31 as Lehigh took control early. Niagara scored two of the final four first-half goals, but the Mountain Hawks still took a commanding 7-2 lead into halftime.
Lehigh scored five of the first six second-half goals to take a 12-3 lead after a goal from sophomore Krista Dampman with 10:02 remaining. The Purple Eagles scored four of the last six goals, but it wasn’t nearly enough as Lehigh cruised to its second win in three days.
Lehigh finished the game with a 25-16 edge in shots, 16-14 advantage in groundballs and 12-11 edge in draw controls. Sophomore goalie Taylor Tvedt stopped four-of-seven shots before being relieved by freshman Elizabeth Nussbaum who made two saves in her collegiate debut.
“We definitely needed this momentum,” said Redfern. “We’re really thankful that our facilities staff got us out here for both of these games (after the bitter cold on Friday and snow overnight Saturday into Sunday). There’s nothing better than momentum and winning momentum, so going info Fairfield, we’re excited about where we are and we even need to be a little better than we were these last two games.”
The Mountain Hawks return to action on Saturday when they host Fairfield at 1 p.m.