Eagle's wings clipped by the Mountaineers, lose road opener
Emma Vinall scores six goals, but turnovers, Mountaineers defense and goalie play felled the soaring birds
Correction: This article has been updated since it was first published to correct that goalie Delaney Oliveira did not start the game.
The Eagles came up short against Mount St. Mary’s Saturday 9-19. It was the team’s first game since March 2020, because of the coronavirus, and the long layoff appeared to take its toll.
First-year head coach Lindsay Teeters’ first game started fast and furious. The two teams scored a combined six goals within the first 10 minutes of the first half. The Eagles took the lead with over 14 minutes to play in the first half, but would end the period down 11-6.
The Eagles made a comeback in the second period, and shrunk the deficit down to four, which opened up a window to get back in the game. However, the Mountaineers defense quashed any hopes American University had of completing a comeback, and the Eagles gave up six unanswered goals to end the game.
The 2021 squad was unable to match its 2020 scoring output. The 2020 team averaged 19 goals a game, and 20 goals on the road. But the Mountaineers stifled the high-flying Eagles, holding them to their lowest point total since April 2019.
Turnovers also hurt the Eagles’ chances. AU finished the game with 22 turnovers, compared to last season’s average of 13 per game. They also surrendered five turnovers within the first 10 minutes.
The Eagles also struggled to keep the Mountaineers from scoring at will. AU gave up 26 shots on goal and only had seven saves. Goalie Delaney Oliveira surrendered 10 goals with a 29 percent save rate, but starter Helena Morrison fared no better. Morrison surrendered nine goals with a 25 percent save rate. The Mountaineers, who have only beaten AU three times in their 13 meetings, had been on a two-game losing streak before Saturday.
Despite the loss, AU still had its moments. Senior Emma Vinall scored the team’s first five goals and finished the game with six goals. Vinall, who was named Inside Lacrosse All-American honorable mention, is now 26 goals and 26 points away from breaking each of the career goals and points record. Senior Erica Skowron, who missed most of the 2019 season, also played well as she finished with a goal and two assists.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, the schedule will not get any easier. AU will face Loyola Maryland on the road before a three-game home stretch against George Washington, Lehigh and Navy. The AU lacrosse team is a combined 14-46 all-time against the four teams. American has never beaten Loyola, and hasn’t beaten either Lehigh or Navy since 2013 and 2008, respectively. Teeters has been bullish about facing the upcoming competition, and is ready to face the challenge. To her and the team, the past has no effect on the present.