Seniors give AU field hockey a boost in double overtime win over Lafayette

de Kock scores game-winner in rematch of the 2019 Patriot League Championship

Seniors give AU field hockey a boost in double overtime win over Lafayette
AU field hockey shut out Bucknell on March 14 in its season opener.

On a blustery Easter Sunday afternoon in Easton, Pennsylvania, American University matched up against Lafayette College in a rematch of the 2019 Patriot League Championship. Much like in 2019, the Eagles won this matchup. Sunday’s contest came right after a loss to Bucknell that went into double overtime tied 1-1, and this matchup went almost the exact same way.

“Even though we weren’t in a perfect rhythm, I think we were much more grounded today,” AU head coach Steve Jennings said after Sunday’s win. “We weren’t flustered by things that were not going perfectly. … The team has a growth mindset and looked the same situation in the eye that we had last week, and found a way to get a victory.” 

At the start of the first quarter, Lafayette immediately took the ball into its offensive half, but AU was able to turn the ball over and turn the game into a midfield battle. After an uneventful start to the first quarter, American had a series of four corners, the last of which resulted in a goal by sophomore Merel Dupont. This put AU up 1-0 into the second quarter.

The second quarter opened with a midfield battle. Each team fought to take the ball into its offensive half. However, Lafayette ended up taking the ball offensively before AU could get a chance. The Eagles’ defensive unit cleared the ball out of the circle almost immediately. 

Throughout the first half of the game, freshman goalkeeper Bryn Underwood showed her skills, deflecting nearly every Lafayette shot. She received plenty of defensive help from junior Georgia Davies, who also had some great deflections off of Lafayette’s shots on goal. Despite a strong effort by Lafayette to tie the game by the half, the second quarter went scoreless.

Lafayette scored at the beginning of the fourth quarter, putting the game at 1-1 with 13 minutes to go. AU stepped up defensively to make sure Lafayette didn’t have another chance to score, and Underwood blocked nearly every shot that wasn’t already taken out of the circle by the defensive unit. After AU had a series of unsuccessful offensive corners, the game went into overtime.

In overtime, Davies stood out both on offense and defense, intercepting a Lafeyette pass close to AU’s goal and taking it all the way up the field. Although this didn’t result in a goal, it gave AU possession into double overtime. In double overtime, AU fought hard through a series of offensive corners. With 4:28 left to go, senior Gaby de Kock scored the game-winning goal, taking AU to a 2-1 record this season.

“We kept our composure, even though some of the calls didn’t go our way,” de Kock said after her game-winning goal. “As a team, we stepped up, and I think we just got it done. It was a very important game today, so I’m very impressed with the team. Overall, we were all very, very excited to win this game.” 

“We were all disappointed by last game’s loss, but it gave us so much fire and determination to win,” she added. “I think we’re all feeling really good about the win, and we still have a lot to learn.”

AU will return home for a Sunday afternoon matchup against Lehigh (2-1) as both teams battle for a spot in the four-team Patriot League Tournament.

largiropoulos@theeagleonline.com

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