Sara McIntyre, the 2006 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, joins Inneke Carmola in a potent one-two scoring punch for Lehigh.
Back in April 2006, Sara MacIntyre—or "Smack" as teammates call her—set a new record for most goals (47) ever by a Lehigh freshman.
MacIntyre's name was nearly erased from the Lehigh record books within one calendar year. That's because Lehigh freshman Inneke Carmola notched 46 goals this past spring.
Was MacIntyre, who scored 35 goals as a sophomore this past season, upset about the arrival of another shooting star on South Mountain? Not at all, because MacIntyre knew that, without multiple scoring threats, the odds of the Mountain Hawks challenging for Patriot League crowns were about the same as Jeff Gordon's chances of winning the Daytona 500 in a go-kart.
"Her arrival immediately made us a better team, because defenses couldn't simply focus on me, or Inneke made them pay and vice versa," MacIntyre says. "The tougher you are to defend, the better your chances of winning."
Building a consistent winner is the goal of Lehigh head coach Liz Brode Ota '95, a former lacrosse star herself. Despite her best efforts, Patriot League women's lacrosse has been pretty much owned by Holy Cross the past two springs. However, the Crusaders lost one of the nation's best goalies in Megan Orr (whose .564 save percentage was third in the nation in 2007) and scoring ace Patricia Sutton (57 goals, 18 assists in 2007) to graduation.
Meanwhile, Lehigh (8-9 overall, 3-2 Patriot League in 2007) will have a junior- and sophomore-laden squad, led by the dynamic scoring duo of MacIntyre and Carmola. Juniors Kyle Roth and Sarah Fudin, along with sophomores Jen Ingalls and Megan Stoner, all will return to play major defensive roles for Lehigh in 2008.
"We want to win the Patriot League and go to the NCAA tournament next spring," Carmola says. "And I think that's doable." MacIntyre agrees: "The pieces are in place here. If we work hard, the sky's the limit the next couple years."
Lehigh Alumni Bulletin
Inauguration 2007 issue
Photo courtesy of Lehigh Athletic Department