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Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024
The Eagle

Strong second half propels women’s soccer past Lafayette

AU wins their last home game of the regular season, keeping them in contention for tournament spot

American University’s women’s soccer team beat Lafayette College Sunday afternoon at Reeves Field in their last home game of the regular season. The Eagles (7-5-4, 2-4-2 PL) were able to break through with two second-half goals for the 2-0 win.

Senior midfielder Audrey Denkler struck first in the 54th minute, finding the back of the net off an assist from senior forward Yari Bradfield, which followed a cross into the box from the Patriot League assists-leader Gabriela Maldonado. This was Denkler’s third goal in the past two games. Bradfield would go on to score her PL-leading 13th goal of the season in the 68th minute on a turn around shot, which gave the Eagles some breathing room.

AU outshot the Leopards 9-4 in the contest, with junior goalkeeper Morgan Lang recording two saves for the shutout.

“I liked how we stepped up to the challenge of bringing urgency in the first half. Sometimes we wait until the last 10 minutes of the game to really bring that,” said head coach Anabel Hering. “It was good to see them coming with that energy in the very beginning of the second half, and not losing ourselves because we knew we needed to win.”

The Eagles finished the year 4-2-2 at home. While Hering said the team played “pretty well” on the road this season, she added that “the energy from families and friends and knowing that we’re at home helped a lot.”

In their last three games, the Eagles have been able to pick up 7 points in the league. Hering said that this was partially due to their schedule having been full of stronger opponents at the front end.

“We’re starting to get a better rhythm and work on game management to hold the lead,” Hering said. “And kids have been coming out of the woodwork to score.”

In preparation for their regular season finale, Hering said her team will mostly be focusing on recovery.

“We’ll also work on our touches and game management, and keeping their heads right in emotional times because there will be a lot at stake. So for them to get that pressure environment at practice will help them,” she said.

With the win, American remains in contention for a spot in the Patriot League tournament. They’ll travel to Army West Point next for a 6 p.m. game on Saturday, Oct. 27 to close out the regular season.

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