Women’s lacrosse comeback falls short
Eagles fall to Bucknell 9-8 on District Day
The women's lacrosse team scored five second half goals in its game on Saturday at Jacobs Field, but the Eagles' rally fell short and they fell to Bucknell, 9-8. The team remains winless in the Patriot League.
The Eagles (2-10, 0-5 PL) trailed 8-3 at halftime, but limited the Bison (8-4, 3-2 PL) to four shots and forced 12 turnovers in the final thirty minutes. AU tallied 18 shots in the second half and recorded more ground balls and defensive clearances than the Bison in the second period.
“[The game] was a tale of two halves, something we’ve been dealing with all season long,” head coach Emma Wallace said. “Our first half, we had too many turnovers. Our second half, though was really a thing of beauty and some of the best lacrosse we’ve played all year.”
The Eagles started the game slow and fell behind 2-0 after Bucknell midfielder Maddy Molinari scored two goals in the game’s first five minutes. The Eagles responded and tied the game on two goals from senior midfield Sarah Bootman. Bootman scored her first goal off an assist from senior attacker Jennifer DeSimone and her second after intercepting an attempted Bison clearance and firing the ball past Bucknell goalkeeper Jamie Dewitt.
After the Eagles tied the score at 2, Bucknell seized control of the half and put the Eagles’ defense under constant pressure. The Bison forced 13 first half turnovers and prevented the Eagles from having many offensive opportunities.
Three consecutive goals in a seven minute span from Bison attacker Audrey Walsh stretched the Bison lead to 5-2. Senior midfielder Madison Hoon pulled a goal back for the Eagles before Bucknell scored three goals in the final five minutes of the first half to take a five-goal lead into the halftime interval.
AU came out in the second half with high intensity and energy, winning ground balls and forcing Bison turnovers. The Eagles’ comeback began with a goal by Bootman ten minutes into the half. Bootman and Hoon were integral to the Eagles second half improvement, moving off the ball on offense and driving at the Bison defense.
“Sarah Bootman, Maddie Hoon and the defense I think really stepped up in the second half,” Wallace said. “But it’s, again, too little, too late. Which has been our bug all season so far.”
The Eagles thought they trimmed the lead to three with under ten minutes to play when sophomore Brooke Stapleton fired a shot into the back of the net. However, after a post-goal inspection of Stapleton’s stick, the officials determined the stick was illegal and the goal was disallowed.
In lacrosse, officials examine the sticks of all goal-scorers immediately after a goal has been scored, looking for sticks that are too light or pockets that are too deep. When the ball is placed in the stick’s pocket, the ball must not disappear from view when held horizontally.
The Eagles scored three goals in the final three and a half minutes of the match, including a goal from Bootman as time expired to trim the deficit to the final margin of defeat.
The Eagles return to action Saturday, April 15 at Jacobs Field against Patriot League opponent Army West Point.