EMMA KNIGHT / THE EAGLE
After battling icy rain, the AU women’s soccer team dominated in a 3-0 victory against Lafayette Oct. 7 at Reeves Field.
The win marked the Eagles’ second straight against Patriot League opponents, following a 1-0 home victory over Lehigh Oct. 5.
Sunday’s win saw the Eagles score early in the first half and seal the game in the second with two goals.
“I thought that was one of the most complete performances we’ve put on in a while,” AU head coach Dave Bucciero said. “I’m really happy with the way they played in a lot of different areas, and I have nothing but positive things to say about this team.”
Bucciero added that the team did well moving the ball, staying composed while moving with a good speed of play. He was also pleased with the scoring opportunities his team generated, along with the back line’s handling of the counter attack.
AU (4-8-2, 2-1 PL) jumped on the board in the eighth minute when Erin Mulhern passed to Michelle Montilio, who veered right and got past Lafayette goalkeeper Lauren Smedley to notch the opening goal.
After the Eagles defense fended off the Leopards (4-8-2, 1-2 PL) for most of the half, AU goalkeeper Charlene Belanger went to work and stopped Lafayette from tying it up. Allison Stone took a shot on goal, but Belanger scooped it up at the 41st minute.
AU started the second half with equal intensity, as Michaela Cowgill scored the second goal of the game when Sam Trotta’s pass soared in her direction. Cowgill headed it in to put the Eagles up 2-0 in the 65th minute.
Lafayette came roaring back with an attempt that almost got past the relentless Belanger, when Jaclyn Giordano’s kick hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced down just outside the goal line in the 76th minute. The AU defense quickly recovered the ball and pushed it out of the box before Lafayette could score off the rebound.
After Carleigh Morba took a shot that Smedley fumbled, the ball hit the ground and Kristin Piorun sent it into the net to give the Eagles their final goal with 4:30 left in regulation.
AU outshot Lafayette 18-5, with Belanger remaining a dominant force in goal by posting two saves to gain her second straight shutout.
“All season she’s been working her butt off trying to get that shutout,” AU defender Kirsten Eriksen said. “Finally it’s starting to come together and it’s at the right time, right place.”
Friday’s victory over Lehigh came as a result of a 50th-minute score, when Jasmine Mohandesi sent the ball into the center, where Shaena Alfonsi was there to push across the game-winning goal.
The Eagles now hit the road to continue Patriot League play, visiting Bucknell Oct. 13 and Holy Cross Oct. 19.