Skip to main content

Championship Wrapup: A Whole Lotta Champions Playing This Weekend

Contrary to popular belief, I am not employed in any capacity by the Patriot League or Lehigh Athletics, though sometimes it must seem like I am.

But there were two Patriot League championships clinched by teams from Lehigh this weekend, not just the the co-championship clinch by the Mountain Hawk football team this weekend at Fitton Field in Worcester.

A surprising turn of events in the Patriot League women's soccer tournament meant No. 3 seeded Lehigh, after upsetting top-seeded Army 1-0 Sunday afternoon, won the Patriot League championship and got to their first-ever NCAA tournament.

It caps off an extraordinary year for Lehigh Athletics in general - most of whom play this weekend, too. (more)

From the release:

After dropping a 1-0 heartbreaker at Army in the regular season, the Mountain Hawks closed the year by going unbeaten over their final six league games and winning both games over the weekend.

“We knew they would come out strong,” said Lehigh first-year head coach Eric Lambinus. “We knew they’d give us everything they got, and they did that in the second half. We were happy to withstand their pressure and not give up a goal. I had a feeling we would put the ball in the back of the net [and then] we finished the last 15 minutes in unbelievable fashion.”

Army continued to pour on the pressure, causing senior GK Lauren Mains to make two quick saves. Lehigh responded by scoring the game’s only goal at 75:32 when junior D Genna Pepe made a cross from the right flank. She found senior F Liz Carlos in front, who didn’t get a good shot off initially, but she capitalized on the second chance to make it 1-0 in favor of Lehigh.

“Genna set me up perfectly for the goal,” said Carlos. “She made a beautiful cross and I did the easy part, just finishing it.”

Mains didn't allow a goal in the entire tournament, and the team hadn't lost since that 1-0 game at Army referred to in the article. As their reward, they will face off in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend against an ACC powerhouse: Virginia, who received a No. 2 national seed and will be hosting this weekend's first-round matchup this Friday at 5 PM.

“I would hope our mindset is to go down there to win a game,” said Lambinus in the release. “You don’t get into the tournament and not try to win it. You never know. Upsets have happened all the time, so we’re excited about the opportunity [in front of us].”

Over on the enemy's side, "Virginia is making its 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 23rd overall appearance. Only North Carolina and Notre Dame have longer active streaks of tournament appearances. Last year Virginia advanced to the third round past St. John's and Penn State before falling at UCLA."

Should Lehigh pull off the upset, they'd face either UNC-Greensboro or South Carolina on Saturday in the second round.


The women's soccer championship, alongside the men's basketball, women's basketball, and now football (since they've clinched at least a co-championship) means that the Mountain Hawks will have won four major Patriot League championships in the past twelve months.

With the men's soccer team entering the Patriot League championship this weekend with a No. 2 seed and a chance to win the title, it means this weekend you can actually follow four Patriot League champions in competition, and a potential fifth with the men's soccer team.

It makes for quite a schedule if you're a Lehigh sports nut like myself.

At 5:00 PM on Friday the 12th, Lehigh's champion women's soccer team will be in Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, VA in their first-round matchup. It's unclear whether there will be any coverage of the game - none will be provided from, for reasons that will become obvious - but if I can't find any audio of the game, I will most likely be opening a live stats window on my computer to follow the game to see if Lehigh can make history.

At 7:00 PM on Friday, the men's wrestling team will be in Pittsburgh to take on the No 14-ranked Panthers, as the grapplers from the 3rd-placed EIWA team from last year go to their first road dual of the year.  There will be no Lehigh coverage of that game either, audio or video - but you can get video of the event through Pitt's CBS College Sports All-Access.  I probably won't be following that one - for reasons that will become obvious.

At 7:30 PM on Friday, the men's basketball team will be contesting its season opener at Penn State. The game won't be carried live on TV, unfortunately - instead, it will broadcast via tape delay this Sunday - but if you sign up for BigTenNetwork.Com and are an existing subscriber, you can stream the game for free on your computer or laptop. That's exactly what I plan to do Friday evening with my laptop, a HDMI cable and my HD-capable TV. (Of course, I'll mute the pro-Big Ten announcers and use the audio from my subscription to Stretch Internet to listen to the "good guys" call the game, i.e. Matt Kerr.)

That's challenging enough.  But it's at 8:00 PM on Friday when all hell breaks loose.

That's when the semifinals of the Patriot League men's soccer tournament begin - where No. 2 Lehigh takes on No. 3 American - and the Lehigh women's basketball team, the Lady Hawks, play their season opener in Pittsburgh, PA against Duquesne.

The men's soccer semifinal looks like it's going to be streamed on Patriot League All-Access at 8:00 PM.  I'll probably have to wait until halftime of the Penn State game to watch that, perhaps with the audio of the women's basketball game vs. Duquesne - featuring the solo debut of the new voice of the Lady Hawks, Matt Markus.  When the men's basketball game comes to its conclusion, I'll have to do the men's soccer/women's basketball switch once again for the final half hour of action.

And that doesn't even count Saturday - where, of course, I'll be following Lehigh football's bid to remove the "co-" from their Patriot League Championship and clinch the autobid to the FCS playoffs - and Sunday, where the Lady Hawks will be facing off against Robert Morris at Noon, and the Lehigh wrestling team will be facing off against No. 6 Penn State at 2:00 PM, with Steve Lomangino, I think, doing the call, on Stretch Internet and 91.3 WLVR in the Lehigh Valley.

Again, if you are subscribed to the Lehigh Sports All-Access package, you're in luck: you'll get streaming audio of a ton of different games, to go with live stats.

For the Georgetown game - if you're not going to be hopping on a bus to watch the game in the District - you can purchase all-access video through the Georgetown CBS College Sports website.  (If you're a Verizon FIOS subscriber, the game will also be available on-demand as well.)

It's not going to be easy to follow four - perhaps five - championship teams in one weekend, but it should be a lot of fun. It will be even more fun if the NCAA makes some sort of stream available of the game this Friday.


Carl said…
The information is good that, Patriot League championships clinched by teams from Lehigh, also the picture is good about it.


dissertation Writing

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Lehigh's Battles With The Late Tubby Raymond

(Photo Credits: Delaware Online)

When I heard the news Tubby Raymond, legendary Delaware head football coach, died last week at the age of 92, two immediate memories came rushing back to me.

One occurred on October 16th, 1999, when Tubby had made a complaint to the local paper or radio in the run-up to Kevin Higgins' Mountain Hawks beating his Blue Hens on Delaware's homecoming, 42-35.

I have no idea if the quote even actually happened, but my recollection is that Tubby said that Lehigh had "St. Bartholomew's" on their schedule, and hadn't played anybody.  It was a verbal jab that many Delaware fans took with them to the stands to heckle the Mountain Hawk fans that made the short trip to Newark.

Up until that point, I had watched a bunch of Lehigh football games over the years.  I experienced their rise in the 1990s.  I enjoyed wins, and championships, and playoff victories.

But never had I felt a win so viscerally vindicating than the one over Tubby Raymond&…

Lehigh Wrestling Gets Superstar Treatment at PPL Center. Lehigh Football Needs The Same At Murray Goodman.

"We knew it would be nice," Lehigh wrestling head coach Pat Santoro said. "But it was even better than we expected."

Pat was talking about the reception his Lehigh wrestling squad experienced at Allentown's PPL Center this weekend, when a sellout crowd over nearly 10,000 people came to watch No. 1 Penn State grapple with No. 5 Lehigh in a collegiate wrestling event.

It was, by all accounts, something special to behold. 

"I thought it was really cool and an exciting place to wrestle," said Penn State wrestler Nick Nevills. "These fans were really into it, a rowdy bunch. It's a lot more fun as an athlete to wrestle in an environment like this. I'd say it was one of the most exciting times I have had in my career."

The sense of spectacle at the PPL center, though, puts a spotlight on what more can be done at Lehigh itself to make their athletic contests into spectacles.  It requires money to be spent and energy to be expended.  But the…

Troy Pelletier Hasn't Stopped Outworking His Rivals On His Journey To Professional Football

Many Patriot League football fans remember the 153rd meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette, one that ended happily for the Mountain Hawks.

They might remember the MVP performance of QB Brad Mayes, or perhaps the halftime speech by OL Zach Duffy that seemed to spur the Mountain Hawks to victory.

Or perhaps they might remember the spectacular single play of Mayes rolling right and finding WR Gatlin Casey in the end zone to give the Mountain Hawks a lead they didn't relinquish.  It was an incredible play by Mayes, who returns this upcoming year for his senior season, and Casey, who, having exhausted his eligibility at Lehigh, will be playing one more year at Middle Tennessee State.

As great as those individual moments are, though, they are not my biggest takeaway of that game.

Too many Lehigh people forget that Lehigh was down 31-21 at half, and that victory was no sure thing.  And they sometimes forget that so much of that victory came from the grinding of WR Troy Pelletier, deliver…