Men’s soccer (7–3–1 overall, 0–1–1 Ivy League) returned home on Tuesday with a 3–0 win against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (8–4–1). Goals from junior midfielder Frankie DeRosa in the 17th minute, senior forward/midfielder Danny Hampton in the 41st minute, and first-year forward Daniel Diaz Bonilla in the 83rd minute were a welcome success after a difficult game against Brown. The win also increased Princeton’s overall record against Lehigh to 32–8–1.
The Tigers were strong right from the beginning, with a shot in the first minute from Diaz Bonilla. A second shot from junior midfielder/forward Kevin O’Toole in the ninth minute, however, was followed by a minor hiccup when senior midfielder Benjamin Martin was taken down by what appeared to be a hamstring injury. He was substituted by sophomore defender/midfielder Ryan Clare, and the game continued with the same force as before.
The action remained heavily on Lehigh’s defensive end of the field, with four more shots in the next four minutes. A shot from Clare in the 13th minute came remarkably close, but it ultimately bounced off the goalpost. The Mountain Hawks briefly took control of the ball, nearly making it all the way to the goal line, but tight defense from the Tigers kept them from making a shot. By the 17th minute, the ball had made it back to Lehigh’s defensive end, and at 16:14, DeRosa scored the first goal of the game with an assist from Diaz Bonilla.
In the 20th minute, Lehigh had their first shot of the game, but it was saved by junior goalie Jack Roberts. A strong Princeton defense kept the Tigers in control, with two more shots in the 29th minute before their second goal in the 41st minute. The goal was scored by Hampton off of a free kick and sailed smoothly into the upper right corner of the goal.
Lehigh then pushed the ball into Princeton’s defensive half. A foul by Princeton in their penalty area awarded Lehigh a penalty kick, but Lehigh forward/midfielder Michael Tahiru’s shot was blocked by senior goalie Jacob Schachner. The first half concluded soon after another shot from Princeton hit the goalpost.
Tensions rose in the second half of the game, with few shots but a number of fouls on both sides. “Obviously [Lehigh] wanted to put a lot into the second half to try and get a goal and get back into us, so we knew they were gonna come at us at the beginning of the half,” said head coach Jim Barlow afterwards.
Lehigh was unsuccessful, however, and the third goal of the game was scored by Princeton’s Diaz Bonilla, who took advantage of a blocked shot from O’Toole in the 83rd minute.
The game ended directly following a shot from Lehigh in the 90th minute, which went wide.
Coach Barlow was deservedly enthusiastic about the team’s performance. “I think we were really proud of the effort tonight considering that we had a really tough game at Brown on Saturday, that we lost a couple starters to injury from that game, and that we lost one of our best players in the first ten minutes of the game when Ben Martin got hurt,” he said. “It’s a tribute to the guys who came in and played well in one of our most complete performances from start to finish.”
Looking forward, the Tigers will stay home to take on the Columbia Lions at Myslik Field on Saturday, Oct. 19. This is a high-stakes game, as it could mean improvement for Princeton’s currently tenuous Ivy League stance. “We just have to put this kind of effort into the league now,” said Barlow.