AU lacrosse outpaced by Greyhounds, remains winless

Defense, draw control, and ground balls hurt the Eagles, who fall to 0-2

AU lacrosse outpaced by Greyhounds, remains winless

Attacker Emma Vinall in action against University of Delaware 

The American University lacrosse team (0-2, 0-1) was outmatched by No. 14 ranked Loyola Maryland (2-2) Saturday 21-4. AU remains winless on the season, and falls to 0-22 all-time against the Greyhounds.

“Today was a tough one,” head coach Lindsay Teeters said. “There’s certainly a lot for us to continue to work on.”

Things quickly got away from AU. The Eagles fell behind 5-1 in the first 10 minutes of the first half, and after two more goals, were held scoreless in the last 11 minutes of the half. AU would score again with 23 minutes left to play in the second half, but failed to find the back of the net for the rest of the game.

The Greyhounds defense stymied the Eagles’ typically-potent offense. Leading scorer Emma Vinall was kept scoreless, and the Eagles only had 10 shots on goal compared Loyola’s 26 shots. The Hounds also forced 11 turnovers, which killed AU’s momentum. 

However, AU wasn’t given much of a chance to get into an offensive rhythm. The Greyhounds dominated the draw control, winning at a more than 2:1 ratio, and frequently put AU on the defensive. At one point the ESPN+ announcers said the game had become “Make it take it,” because the Greyhounds kept getting the ball on the draw control after scoring. 

The Eagles defense struggled to quell Loyola’s offensive output, and frequently left goalie Delaney Oliveira without help against oncoming attackers. 

Oliveira, who did not start in AU’s opener due to lingering injuries, was healthy Saturday, but finished the game with a 19 percent save rate. Teeters said that the numbers didn’t reflect how well the senior played and that AU’s defense did not put Oliveira in the best position to make saves.

“They only credited Del for five saves, but I’m pretty sure she had more,” Teeters said. “There were times where she was left high and dry. She can’t save everything if the defense puts her in a vulnerable position.”

The Eagles defense struggled to capture ground balls and clear the ball from their zone throughout the game. AU picked up 13 ground balls and had a 62 percent clear rate, unfavorable marks compared to the Greyhounds, who picked up 17 ground balls and had a 71 percent clear rate. 

AU kept fighting despite the loss. Fifth-year senior Casey Harkins finished the game with a hat trick, and sophomore Emma Hare scored her first goal of the 2021 season after scoring six goals in 2020. 

The Eagles will look to shift the momentum in the next three weeks. AU will play George Washington University, Lehigh and Longwood at home after starting the first two games of its season on the road. AU is 19-14 all time against the three teams, and Teeters is confident that the Eagles will turn things around.

“We’ve got two winnable games for us,” she said. “Hopefully we can go from 0-2 to 2-2, and bounce back.”

bmorse@theeagleonline.com

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