EMMA KNIGHT / THE EAGLE
The AU women’s soccer team needs to find something to smile about, as their rough start to the season became even worse over the weekend.
Following a 1-0 home loss against Virginia Commonwealth Sept. 7, the Eagles were unable to turn 12 shots into enough goals and fell to Loyola (Md.) 2-1 Sept. 9 at home.
“Well, it was disappointing, we did not come out with the right mentality,” AU head coach Dave Bucciero said following the Loyola match. “The first starting minutes we looked very lethargic, looked a little bit disinterested and we paid the price.”
The women nearly jumped out first in Sunday’s game, but Carleigh Morba’s shot on goal went wide off the left post.
Shortly after the shot, Loyola answered. The 1-0 Greyhounds lead came in the 24th minute, when Charlotte Miller passed to Nichole Schiro, who was standing in the box and tapped in her third goal of the year.
Loyola (3-1-2) controlled most of the first half, scoring another goal off a corner kick 12 minutes later.
The Eagles (1-6-1) quickly responded to cut the deficit in half when Michelle Montilio scored by way of a header after Michaela Cowgill’s corner kick.
Montilio almost tied it up just before halftime, but her header flew over the crossbar.
“I thought at the end of the first half and beginning of the second we started to attack them more,” Bucciero said. “We started to be a little bit more aggressive…and that created a number of opportunities for us. It’s just it took too long for us to do that.”
Offensive control in the second half went back and forth, but AU was unable to knot the score at 2-2.
Perhaps the lack of enthusiasm Sunday came as a result of Friday’s close loss to VCU.
Klare Lazor recorded three saves in goal during the first six minutes to keep the match scoreless, and Cowgill and Morba charged down the field and recorded back-to-back shots for the Eagles.
Then, the Rams killed AU’s momentum.
In the 44th minute, Wendy Acosta connected on a pass from Lauryn Hutchinson and headed the ball into the top right corner of the net to give VCU the 1-0 lead.
Like on Sunday, both teams played evenly in the second half, but the Eagles were unable to push across the equalizer.
The Rams (3-2-2) held a 14-6 advantage in shots over the Eagles, and Lazor recorded four saves on the match.
“I think the biggest challenge right now is keeping our confidence because of our record, and understanding that there’s still a lot of the season left,” Bucciero said. “Unless we change our mentality, we’re going to continue to struggle.”
The Eagles will finish off their five-game homestand when they face Howard Sept. 14, and then will travel across town to take on George Washington Sept. 18.