AU field hockey falls to Bucknell in double overtime after victory in season-opener
Offense had opportunities but couldn’t connect
American University’s field hockey team (1-1) suffered its first loss of the season, falling to Bucknell (1-3) 2-1 Sunday in double overtime, following four quarters marked by an intense midfield battle.
“I’d like to see us be calm and composed and have a growth mindset within the game,” AU head coach Steve Jennings said. “So when we realize that one thing’s not working particularly well, we can find solutions to it and that’s just getting in the right mental space and being able to physically execute the things we work really hard on in training.”
AU started the game off strong, taking the ball far into its offensive half within the first minute. But after an unsuccessful offensive penalty corner, the game quickly became a battle of the midfield. AU’s offense came close to scoring many times in the first half but couldn’t quite capitalize on its opportunities — by the start of the second quarter, Bucknell goalie Clara McCormick had already made four saves.
Bucknell’s offense didn’t have as many opportunities, but when it did get past the 25-yard line and into the circle, AU’s defense did an exemplary job of making sure no shots made it to the goal. Even after AU had two more corners at the start of the third quarter, the game was still scoreless far into the third quarter.
Despite the midfield battle, AU dominated offensively, spending the vast majority of the game in its offensive half. However, Bucknell got possession of the ball in its offensive half twice in the third quarter, and the first possession resulted in a goal by Bucknell freshman Olivia Bush. AU sophomore Charllene Boshoff, though, intercepted Bucknell’s second run into its offensive half — part of a pattern, as AU’s defense frequently intercepted Bucknell’s passes close to the goal.
AU had many opportunities to score in the third quarter, with three penalty corners and most of the quarter spent on offense, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. The Eagles’ chemistry lacked around the goal, and while they were able to defend against Bucknell on the other end, they couldn’t make a move towards the goal.
AU sophomore Julia Kraft scored her first goal of the season with 4:32 remaining in the game, tying the game at 1-1. Bucknell immediately rushed up to AU’s goal, but the Eagles were able to fend them off and make a few more unsuccessful shots on goal. With the score tied at the end of the fourth quarter, the game went to overtime.
Senior Noor Coenen, the leader of AU’s overtime squad, went to the sideline with an injured leg with six minutes left in overtime but came back two minutes later to lead the offense. Her return sparked a new energy for the Eagles, and they were able to hold off Bucknell in their defensive half. With no goals, the game went to double overtime.
At the start of the second overtime period, Coenen made a strong shot on goal that went wide to the right. With 4:15 left, freshman goalie Bryn Underwood made an excellent foot save, keeping Bucknell from scoring another goal. However, AU’s effort wasn’t enough, and with 51 seconds left, Sarah Dimmick scored the game-winning goal for Bucknell.
‘We were just feeling a bit rushed, we were not calm and composed, and I think in the end, a lot of the passion that Bucknell brought to the table upset our rhythm,” Jennings said. “We just never really got into a good flow space, and that’s something that we need to work on.”