Sophomore forward Justin Libertowski scored three goals, but Lake Erie took a 3-2 lead into halftime and came out with a 5-3 win in the season opener on Thursday (Aug. 30) afternoon at Ferguson Field.
Libertowski's hat trick is the first for the Eagles since Adam Spannbauer nailed three goals on Oct. 31, 2010.
Thursday's game started gloriously for the Eagles (0-1) as freshman Haruki Kimura made a run in the box in the fifth minute and was brought down by LEC goalkeeper Dale Calta for a penalty kick. Libertowski scored from the spot open the tally.
The Medina, Ohio native doubled the lead when he stole the ball off a Lake Erie defender and deposited his shot through the keeper's legs.
The Storm (1-0) scored the next three goals going into halftime and added a fourth in the 67th minute.
Just two minutes later Libertowski cut the deficit in half from the penalty spot after a Lake Erie hand ball in the box.
The Eagles continued to apply pressure as they searched for an equalizer, but the Storm deposited their fifth goal in the 85th minute off a set piece.
Lake Erie held a 14-11 edge in shots while the Eagles maintained a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.
The Eagles will return to Ferguson Field on Tuesday when they welcome Ohio Dominican in a nonconference game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.