American University’s women’s soccer team dropped their fourth straight Patriot League game to Lehigh on Oct. 6 at Reeves Field. The Mountain Hawks won 1-0. The lone goal came 30 minutes into the game when Lehigh’s Sabrina Mertz found the back of the net off a free kick from 25 yards out.
The first half was slow, with AU getting outshot 4-2 and neither of the Eagles’ shots on target. AU then outshot Lehigh 12-7 by the end of the match, and 10 shots came in the second half. Sophomore midfielder Morgan Brinson nearly scored an equalizer in minute 90, but it was saved. Lehigh’s keeper Sam Miller recorded 6 saves in the shutout.
“What set us back was our slow start to the game,” said head coach Anabel Hering. “Our attack wasn’t great, and we didn’t have enough movement in front of the ball to create any chances. We didn’t look threatening.”
After halftime, however, Hering saw a change.
“There was a kit of hunger late in the game, great movement off the ball. There was definitely a change in our conviction. So I liked that response from our team,” Hering said.
The Eagles had not won a match since Sept. 6, but notched their first victory against a Patriot League opponent against Holy Cross on Oct. 13.
“We’ll be focusing on just putting two halves together and making sure that we’re bringing energy to the beginning, middle and end of the game,” Hering said, adding that “a possible formation change” could be in order.
Prior to the game, AU honored six players from their squad during a Senior Day ceremony. Yari Bradfield, Bruna Gomes, Audrey Denkler, Gabriela Maldonado, Madie Light and Colleen Vivaldi were surrounded by their parents and siblings when being recognized by the school and their team.
Five have been Patriot League Academic Honor Roll members. When asked about her seniors, Hering said, “I love them. They’re such a great crowd. They were one of my first recruitment classes as a head coach, so it’s emotional, but I’m so proud of them for how far they’ve come.”
Hering described this senior class as “a group of leaders with great work ethic” who have been “influential” to their team over the past four seasons.
“We’re going to miss that next year,” Hering said.