Lady Eagles field hockey falls to Maryland Terps, 4-0

Lady Eagles field hockey falls to Maryland Terps, 4-0
CHARGING THE FIELD-Junior Irene Schickhardt dribbles the ball down the field, trying to avoid her Terrapin opponents. The Eagles failed to keep their undefeated record, losing to the Maryland Terrapins in Wednesday's game. The sidelines were packed for th

The AU Eagles battled the nationally ranked Maryland Terrapins in Wednesday's field hockey game. The crowds gathered in waves and lined the white fence surrounding the field to participate in the first ever "Phil Jacobs," a much-anticipated event by the American University community to show their support of AU athletics by filling the Jacobs Field.

The intensity of the game was insurmountable, but in the end, the Terrapins prevailed, winning the game 4-0.

Though the score may prove otherwise, the Eagles tried to stay strong throughout the first half. The Terrapins had difficulties bringing the ball past midfield the first 15 minutes of the game, while the Eagles swarmed the opposing defense every time the ball was in sight.

"We put Maryland under a lot of pressure," coach Steve Jennings said. "We just couldn't connect. Maryland's efficiency was more clinical in the attacking areas."

The pressure the Eagles applied on the Terrapins was challenged when, 15 minutes into the game, Maryland forward Katie O'Donnell broke away from Eagles defenders and scored the first of Maryland's four tallies.

Whenever the Eagles began to rally, Maryland quickly shot the team down. With three minutes left in the first half, the Terrapins scored again. Maryland teammate Susie Rowe snuck a penalty shot past Eagle goalie Alyssa Poorman.

The second half was much like the first. With the help of defender Denise Infante and attacker Irene Schickhardt, the Eagles played strong defensively and offensively. Nonetheless, it was Maryland's opportunistic offense that triumphed.

Terrapin Janeke va Leeuwen scored from the top of the circle in the 46th minute, and Maryland athlete Nicole Muracco scored off an assist by O'Donnell in the final three minutes of the game, bringing the final Maryland score to 4-0.

According to Jennings, the Eagles played attractive hockey. Maryland was just able to connect in the areas the Eagles did not.

"We don't need to work on the strategy of the game," Jennings said. "We just need to be better at finishing and better at deep defense during turnovers."

Out-shooting the Terrapins 11-10, the Eagles had plenty of chances to connect. American also had nine penalty corners while Maryland only had three.

The Eagles, now 8-1, looks to bounce back when the team plays St. Joseph's Sunday at 1 p.m. at Jacobs Field.

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