Lady Eagles dribble past Bucknell
At worst, AU Women's Soccer will play for a share of the Patriot League regular season title on Sunday in its home match against Army. At best, a win against the Black Knights will guarantee that the Eagles host the PL tournament next weekend.
AU did its part to keep its PL title hopes alive on Saturday, thwarting host Bucknell 3-0 behind two goals and one assist from senior midfielder Anabel Jimenez. The win pushes the Eagles to 8-6-1 overall, and 5-1 in the PL.
Navy also sits at 5-1 in the PL while Colgate is 4-1, and both will finish with seven league games played, as will AU. The ideal scenario for AU is for Colgate to at least tie one of their remaining two games when they host Lehigh and travel to Lafayette.
Then, regardless of what Navy does in its final match, an AU win on Sunday would guarantee that the Eagles host the PL tournament. AU holds the head-to-head tiebreak over Navy, having beaten them 5-4 in Annapolis, MD earlier this year.
"Ours is the very last game" in the league, said Head Coach Michael Brady. "Come Sunday we'll know what's on the line, and hopefully that will be hosting the [PL] Tournament."
Somewhat lost in the post-season speculation Saturday afternoon was the game itself, which AU dominated. The Eagles went ahead in the 17th minute, when Jimenez found freshman midfielder Christina Gonzalez with a nifty pass across goal. Gonzalez then finished cleanly past Bison 'keeper Samantha Hecht, giving AU a 1-0 lead.
Jimenez scored both her goals in the second half. The first came in the 64th minute when she latched onto sophomore midfielder Simone Konig's corner-kick. The second came 17 minutes later, when she broke free down the right corner of the penalty area alone before again beating Hecht, capping off her afternoon.
"It actually wasn't her greatest performance," Brady said of Jimenez's afternoon. "She wasn't very happy with the way she played. But statistically, you can't ask for anything more from your captain."
The other story of the day was AU senior 'keeper Lauren Wohl, who was making her first trip back to Bucknell, where she had started her playing career. Wohl didn't have that much to do, but she made plays when necessary, making two saves on the afternoon.
"We made her honorary captain today," Brady said. "She kept her emotions in check, and she made great decisions all afternoon. It was a tricky situation for her," but she handled it tremendously.
AU travels to face District foe Georgetown on Wednesday, Oct. 29 before hosting Army on Sunday, Nov. 2. While a city rivalry is always intense, Brady said the result will not matter much if AU doesn't follow it with a good result on the weekend.
"I think plenty of players will get to play against Georgetown, more so than at Bucknell," Brady said. "But I'm not going to leave my main people in for 90 minutes. The big picture is Army on Sunday."
Now AU watches the rest of the league and waits to see just how big that picture is.