Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, November 18, 2017

Women’s soccer loses 1-0 to Campbell

Loss marks fourth in a row for Eagles

Women’s soccer loses 1-0 to Campbell

Junior Alexandra Taylor runs toward the ball in a match against Campbell Friday.

The Eagles’ strong defense kept the Campbell Camels’ score low, but a goal in the first half left AU with a 1-0 loss Friday at Reeves Field.

This was the Eagles’ fourth consecutive loss, with the game finishing with the same score as last Sunday’s match against George Washington University. AU (1-6-0) made the same mistakes, such as failing to press opponents into vulnerable defensive positions, Coach Anabel Hering said after the game.

“Today we played more responsively,” Hering said. “I think we struggled with being sloppy [when we had] the ball. We weren’t pressing at the top of the box, and that’s where goals are coming from. When we get stuck in those scenarios, we lose our organization defensively a little bit, and we aren’t able to clear the ball out well enough.”

Freshman goalkeeper Ryleigh Brown made two saves, the first being within six minutes of the game, but let one slide pass at 16 minutes to give the Camels a lead, which they kept for the remainder of the game.

The Camels found themselves on the scoreboard when a fortuitous shot by junior forward Shannon Wratchford rolled past Brown, who slipped and was unable to contest the shot. Wratchford was assisted by freshman midfielder Hanna Maansson.

“[Brown] has been doing great [things] for us, but there are still parts of her game that need improvement, communication being one of them.” Hering said. “There’s confusion sometimes when the ball gets back to her if our back line is going for it or if she is going for it. It’s an easy fix, it’s just communication.”

Another strong defensive player on the field was senior defender Kira Flaherty. Her ability to position herself near the goal while maintaining one-on-one coverage proved to be a huge success for the Eagles, preventing more goals from making their way to the box.

“I know if the ball is coming back [toward our goal], we can handle it,” Brown said. “Kira Flaherty is my go-to. When I see that she’s one-on-one defending, I know it’ll be fine.”

The Eagles’ defense blocked the Camels from scoring at least a dozen more points. However, AU’s offense was no match for Campbell’s defense.

AU struggled with keeping possession throughout the game. The Eagles would be dribbling up the field, only to have the ball snatched from between their feet.

Junior midfielder Yari Bradfield led the offensive attack, but struggled to get into dangerous positions to challenge Campbell’s defense. Though she kept the ball close and moved quickly, Campbell’s midfielders would consistently swept the ball away.

Bradfield, forward Madie Light and midfielders Gabriela Maldonaldo and Audrey Denkler all recorded shots for AU, but none troubled the Campbell goalkeeper.

The Eagles will continue their season against Vermont at 11 a.m. Sunday at Reeves Field.

kcataudella@theeagleonline.com


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