Caitlin Dallmeyer returns for her third year reloading with with a roster of 20. Having lost 5 seniors and 4 other underclassman, Dallmeyer brings in a class of 9 recruits hoping to strengthen her lineup. As I look at her recruits she has succeeded in at least adding depth and competition to the Goalkeeper position. Paige Innarella. last year’s sophomore goal keeper will face competition with incoming freshman Emma Gromacki who in 2015 had a 91 percent save average in high school, but Division one field hockey can be different.
With graduation departures, Lehigh loses half of their shots and I am sure Dallmeyer was thinking offense when she went after Lenke Havos the Mountain Hawks first dutch recruit. Defense will have to be better because in Patriot League play with only 9 goals scored against League opponents and suffering 16 goals in the process means the defense will have to improve while the offense begins to figure things out. However Lehigh was still in the hunt for a playoff position finishing just out with a 2-4 record. Carotenuto is back who played a key role on the offense and looks to be a key contributor again this year.
Improvement has been steady but the whole league is moving forward. The question for every team is…. are you moving faster than the rest of the League. Perhaps we will get more of a clue in the out of conference schedule. Lehigh’s early schedule will give them some time to get oriented. The first game is with second year division one team LIU Brooklyn, two days later on August 27th they meet Ohio State in Bethlehem as the Buckeyes arrive with new coach Jared Martin from Duke ( Dallmeyer’s alma mater). They follow with LaSalle,Sacred Heart, and a scrappy Monmouth team in Long Branch, N.J. Holy Cross is their first PL game which will be a must win for both schools if they have any hope for a playoff slot. Siena follows with probable league favorite American and Bucknell a week later.
October 6 is the BIG RIVALRY game with Lafayette which will probably be a must win again, for both schools. In any case, Lehigh is another piece of an ever competitive puzzle for Patriot League fans.