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Adams sees success at Lehigh

Patrick Adams was college-ready even before he finished his high school career.

After spending three years at Salisbury High School he transferred to the Hill School in Pottstown, for his senior year. The boarding school allowed Adams to live in dorms and away from family like he was already in college. And the top-flight soccer gave him valuable experience, which helped him earn a scholarship to Lehigh University.

“My time in high school prepared me in all aspects of life to have success at Lehigh,” Adams said. “The Hill School offered the opportunity to play against a national schedule against the top prep schools in the country. Under [head coach] Mark Allinson at Salisbury, I developed my soccer abilities and had the opportunity to play with a very talented group of players. Reaching the quarterfinals of states my junior year was one of the more memorable achievements in my youth soccer career.

“The Hill School also offered the opportunity to live independently and cultivate the skills to be successful in college. I will never forget my years in high school and I am grateful for the experiences which I had at both Salisbury and the Hill School.”

Being on his own prior to graduating high school gave Adams a feeling of comfort living away from home. He had his sights on playing collegiate soccer away from the Lehigh Valley and eastern Pennsylvania. But then Lehigh came calling.

During his junior year, Adams played club ball for Lehigh Valley United. The travel team allowed him to play in front of several college coaching staffs. Lehigh offered the best of both worlds with strong academics and championship-caliber soccer, and Adams was sold. And within his second year on campus, the promises made by the coaches came to fruition as the Mountain Hawks won a Patriot League title.

“My first two years at Lehigh have been very exciting,” said Adams. “Each year our team has been able to reach the semifinals of the Patriot League playoffs. Last year we went a step further, winning both the regular season title and playoff title to reach the NCAA tournament.

“Ultimately, we lost to a top-20 side nationally in the University of Pittsburgh in the first round. The experience of being on a Patriot League championship team and an NCAA tournament participant will always be a memorable achievement. The first two years at Lehigh have also served me well in allowing me to develop into the student-athlete that will help me thrive in my final two years on and off the field. Freshman year was especially a transitional period for me. Developing the skills to succeed on and off the field played an important role in allowing me to have success here early on.”

After the taste of a league championship and NCAA appearance, Adams and his teammates want more of the same this season, whenever they can take the field again.

“As far as team goals for next season, we want to challenge for another Patriot League title,” Adams said. “This means we must do everything right on and off the field to ensure our team is prepared. Each year our team has been able to compete and defeat programs from the power conferences. We want to continue to show that strength against Patriot League teams as well.

“On a personal side, my goals for the next two years in a broader sense are to continue developing on and off the field. I haven’t been able to break into the starting lineup but I am making strides toward having a stronger role within the team. I scored my first goal this year in a nonleague game against Rutgers, which turned out to be the game winner. I want to continue working on my final product in the final third of the field, which will allow me to develop into a constant scoring threat.”

Last month, the Patriot League suspended all fall sports competition for teams until the spring semester. With a unique fall semester this year, Lehigh has a plan in place to prepare for their 2020-21 season.

“As a team we have a four-phase return-to-play protocol put into place,” said Adams. “This protocol allows us to have full team trainings by the end of September. We will be training a full schedule until Thanksgiving break when the school will shut down until reopening the third week of January. Our season will be in the spring, which means we will have a very long time to prepare for the upcoming season.

“Looking at the silver lining, it has allowed me to fully recover from the injuries that I sustained from last season. I entered last season with multiple injuries coming off a club national championship campaign with the LVU 2000’s team I was playing for in high school. Our whole team has been able to recover from injuries, which will allow us to be at full strength entering the spring.”

Adams has played in 21 career games at Lehigh, recording one goal.

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEHIGH UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS Patrick Adams and the Mountain Hawks have a Patriot League title to defend when their season gets underway in spring of 2021.