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Sunday's Word: Soggy

It was very, very hard to come up with a Sunday word this week. Ultimately I settled on "soggy" because that more than anything else was the theme coming out of Murray Goodman this week.

It was fun to see sophomore QB J.B. Clark get his debut, to see senior DL Brian Jackson spearhead a dominating defensive effort, to see senior WR Sekou Yansane break a big one on the second offensive series of the game.

But soon afterwards, Hanna and her "soggy" sisters - rain, wind, and clouds - dominate the headlines of the game.

After jumping to a two score lead, the headline became the weather. Turnovers became the norm in a rain where it was near impossible to keep the ball dry. Content with the win, Lehigh got ultra-conservative and ran the ball to senior RB Matt McGowan for about 60% of the total plays of the game. It was a defensive, physical game, with bodies flying, footballs springing loose and hopes that kids wouldn't get hurt. (Near the end of the game, sophomore RB Jaren Walker limped off the field - the status of his injury is uncertain.) The win basically in hand, the story turned to rain, and how the newly-sodded field would hold up under the torrential downpour. The fans - especially a strong student section - left "soggy" after halftime and watched the games in dry places around campus.

Against Villanova - a faster team from the powerful Colonial Athletic Association, and a team that is nationally-ranked - we will get a better idea as to where this team is than this "soggy" display on Saturday. Until next Saturday, though, we only have glimpses as to what this team is capable of on a nicer day.

Around the Patriot League, three games were rescheduled to Sunday: Colgate, Fordham and Georgetown's games, all wins for the Patriot League. There was a thought to reschedule this game, but gameday officials were sure the field could hold up and the lightning would stay away, so they played the game anyway.

But I wonder if they knew that this Lehigh team could handle "soggy".

Before yesterday, the "soggiest" game I've been to was Lehigh's hearbreaking loss to Holy Cross 13-10. That game was different - Lehigh didn't have a power running game to complement the high-powered passing game, and the bad weather conditions served to ground Lehigh's greatest strength. Meanwhile, Holy Cross would use a kickoff return for touchdown, and a Crusader wideout would juggle the ball and grab it in the end zone to escape with a 13-10 victory on a field that was ripped to shreds and had huge pools of water, especially around the end zones.

This game came close to that level of "sogginess". However, maybe we can look to the new turf on Goodman as what may hopefully be an indicator to the season. Before, a little rain and adversity would spin us to defeat like in 2005 against Holy Cross. But now, perhaps Lehigh is stronger and can withstand the onslaught of "sogginess" or whatever other teams may throw at us. Maybe, just as the turf withstands the rain much better, this team can stand the onslaught of a season much better, too.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I was very happy with the game. I made the decision to not go to the game (wish I had), but was able to watch on the 'net. The fact they were able to strike early and then keep a nice hold on the game was encouraging. I can't wait to see what they do in good weather.

Looking at next week, I'm very unhappy that Villanova doesn't provide TV coverage. What's up with that?

Go Engineers!

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