Oct. 18, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Mike Worden picked a perfect time to come up with his first goal of the season, getting on the end of a David Menzie cross to lead the American University men's soccer team to a 1-0 Patriot League win over Lehigh on Saturday at Ulrich Sports Complex. The Eagles improve to 6-5-2 (2-0-1 PL), while the Mountain Hawks fall to 5-5-3 (1-1-1 PL).
Lehigh put pressure on the American defense in the early minutes of the first half, but the Eagles settled into a rhythm and began to create opportunities. American took the first shot on goal of the game just under 10 minutes in, as they built an attack down the right touchline. Menzie took a low, hard shot from about 25 yards out that forced Mountain Hawks keeper Jonathan Nydell to make a save.
In the 15th minute American got another opportunity as Anthony Moy got in behind the Lehigh defense and put a cross through the box that Mike Worden just missed getting a piece of and the Mountain Hawks were able to clear it out of danger. At 29:20 the Eagles escaped a one-goal deficit as the Mountain Hawks Adam Welch took a shot generated from a long throw in that hit the cross bar and bounced in American's favor, allowing Phil Purdy to put the ball out of the box.
American had its best chance with just over 14 minutes left in the first half off a corner kick. Luis Martinez put the dead ball into play and Dor Yasur got on the other end of it, but the shot was cleared off the line by a Lehigh defender holding the far post.
Philip Purdy took his first shot of the contest in the 41st minute of play, putting a hard shot on goal that Nydell was forced to knock over the bar for a corner kick. Karsten Smith just missed putting away his fourth goal of the season, but the AU offense earned another corner. Nydell came up with the loose ball off a Yasur header and Lehigh missed a free kick chance as time expired in the first half at a scoreless draw.
Lehigh held court in the American end of the field for most of the opening 10 minutes of the second half, but the Eagles defense still hadn't allowed a shot on goal 60 minutes in. AU continued to press, as David Menzie put a cross through the six-yard box that Cameron Petty just missed getting a foot on. The Mountain Hawks finally put a shot on frame with 25:29 remaining in regulation, but Eagles goalkeeper Matt Makowski came up with the stop.
Worden tallied at 66:05 and Lehigh had one last opportunity to force overtime with just over three minutes left, but sent the shot over the goal and the Eagles ran out the clock to remain unbeaten in Patriot League play.
"This was a huge win for us on the road," said AU head coach Todd West. "It was a great team effort and I couldn't be any prouder of the guys."
Lehigh had an 11-7 advantage in shots, but AU took a 4-1 margin in shots on goal. The Eagles will return to action on Saturday when they host Holy Cross, also unbeaten in the conference. The match kicks off at 1 p.m. and takes place over American's Alumni Weekend.