AU lacrosse secures their fifth straight win versus Holy Cross with a 19-7 lead
Young players rise to success in Patriot League win using their team-wide ‘attack mentality’
It was a cold day in Jacobs Recreational Complex when the Eagles faced the Holy Cross Crusaders. The hope of a warm mid-atlantic spring had faded and everyone was huddled with blankets to keep warm. But, despite the cold, the Eagles achieved a 19-7 win over the Crusaders.
The Eagles lined up confidently after winning their four previous games, hoping to secure their seventh overall win and their second within the Patriot League.
The Crusaders got the first possession from the draw and Holy Cross’s Sara McKenna scored the first goal. Less than 30 seconds after, AU tied the game with a free-position shot from sophomore midfielder Emma Fiore. The period ended with the score tied at 3-3, it looked as though this game would be goal trading from start to end. But AU pulled ahead and took a 9-4 lead at halftime.
By the end of the third period, AU expanded their lead even further to 16-6. The Eagles defensive strategy of attacking the ball first put the Crusaders in a tough position, and the Crusaders took a mere eight shots throughout the entire second half of the game.
Holy Cross began to panic, players Christine Fabrizi and Lindsay Hult both received yellow cards within the third period. The fouls forced them to serve out their two-minute penalty in the box, lessening the number of players Holy Cross had on the field. American stayed composed, and remained in the driver's seat, a piece of advice head coach Lindsay Teeters always gives the team.
“My teammate Stefanie Walsh is the one that told me going into this we needed to adopt a complete attack mentality,” freshman Maddy Spratt said. “With this mindset, we started going after all the ground balls and just attacking every chance we got.”
A key member of the defensive transitions for the Eagles was sophomore Jordan Mitchell, who managed to outrun Holy Cross’s midfield throughout the game and provide more opportunity for offensive shots. Mitchells exceptionally quick movements made for key transitions that immensely helped the offense.
“Mitchell has done a great job of being confident with the ball and carrying it over into the offensive end,” Teeters said. “This is really our first full year with her because of COVID-19, and for us to get this time with her has been incredible.”
Everyone was wondering how AU tipped what looked to be a tie game into such a dominating performance in the second half. Spratt also credits their performance in the last 30 minutes to the words of her coaches at halftime.
“Our coach told us before the game and reminded us again at halftime that we have to start strong and end strong, and that’s exactly what we did,” Spratt said. “We always wanna push through for her.”
Spratt said her older teammates, like fifth-year seniors Kendall Goldblum and Emma Vinall, have been mentors for the younger players, both in games as well as in practices. This type of leadership will come in handy as AU will lose both Vinall and Goldblum after this season.
The Eagle’s win against Holy Cross makes them 2-0 in the Patriot League.
AU’s next game will take place Saturday against Army in West Point, New York at 1 p.m. EST. Despite the Eagles having beaten the Black Knights in their last face-off in 2019, this will surely be a challenging opponent.
“It’s gonna be a tough game. I think the confidence that we’re feeling right now will be important and making sure this momentum carries into our next game,” Teeters said. “Every game in the Patriot League is a tough one, and we’re not overlooking anyone. Every single game we go into it making sure we’re focusing on that individual opponent.”