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Friday, June 21, 2024
The Eagle

Lax loses lead in home opener

Everything was in place Tuesday afternoon at Reeves Field for a positive beginning to the Women's Lacrosse season. The air was a spring-like 68 degrees and few clouds dotted the sky as AU took a two-goal lead over Towson into halftime.

The only thing that didn't end up in the Eagles' favor was the outcome, as the Tigers outscored them 5-1 in the final 21 minutes en route to a 16-13 win. For new AU head coach Ashley Flanigan, however, the loss wasn't a bad way to start the season.

"It was the best show they've put on since we've been together," she said. "Now they proved to themselves that we've got a good team."

The Eagles had a few bright spots on both ends of the field in the defeat. Six players got on the board offensively to chip in five assists along with the goals. Junior attacker Rebecca Copeland led the way with five goals, a tie for the game high. The last of them tied the game at 3:31, but it wasn't enough as Towson scored three more goals to seal the game.

Also leading the offense was senior midfielder Tara Michael, who assisted on two goals and scored three of her own.

Sophomore goalkeeper Kathleen Finnegan, who started in that position every game last year, played only the second half. The Tigers put nine shots past her, but she made two impressive stops late in the half with the Eagles down one to keep them in the game.

Starting in goal for AU was sophomore Sarah Mackintosh, who was the first 'keeper other than Finnegan to open a game since 2002. But having two possibilities in front of the net this season might just make the Eagles stronger at that position.

"It's nice to have some competition," Flanigan said.

AU traded leads with Towson early in the first half before scoring three consecutive goals, including two off free positions, to get its largest lead at 8-3 with 3:16 left. The Tigers countered nine seconds later with the first of two goals that sent the game into halftime with a two-goal Eagles lead.

AU came out of the gate to open scoring in the second half on a tally by Copeland, but Towson rallied for four unanswered goals. The Eagles scored twice after calling a timeout, but they only scored once more in the game as their offense went dead in the final 20 minutes. They had a chance to tie the game as they got possession with two minutes remaining on a Towson foul, but a defensive-zone turnover prevented another AU chance.

Flanigan said tired errors were to blame for the lackluster second-half performance. Those will have to be worked out as the season progresses, she said.

"Seeing how they played, they know that practice is the most important part of the game at this point," Flanigan said.

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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