Field hockey’s season ends after falling to Lehigh in a nine round shootout
Goalkeeper Bryn Underwood kept the Eagles alive as long as she could
The American University Eagles (9-7) lost to the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks (12-7) in the Patriot League semifinal on Nov. 3.
The score of 2-1 was decided by two overtime periods and a nine-round shootout. This loss marks the end of American’s season. Emily Horace scored the lone regulation goal for the Eagles.
The game began with two close scoring chances for the Eagles that went just out of bounds near the goals. These were the best shots AU got the entire quarter, and possession was back and forth between the Eagles and Mountain Hawks. Lehigh midfielder Sarah Bonthuis received a green card, the first of five cards given out in this highly penalized game.
The second quarter featured just one shot from Lehigh, and neither team scored. The large crowd of fans for both teams was not deterred by the lack of action and cheered for their teams throughout.
The third quarter kicked off with a goal for Lehigh by Bonthuis just two and a half minutes into the quarter. The Eagles then received the first penalty corner of the game but were unable to get past the Mountain Hawks strong defense. The cards continued into the second half for American, but Lehigh was unable to score while possessing the player advantage.
Entering the final quarter down 1-0, AU received its second penalty corner of the game two minutes in. Horace nailed in the tying goal off of an assist by senior defender Charllene Boshoff. The Eagles received one more penalty corner this quarter, but they were unsuccessful in taking the lead. The fourth quarter concluded with a 1-1 tie. Before this game, American had only been to overtime once this season, beating the Lafayette University Leopards 2-1 in overtime on Sept. 17.
The first overtime period featured two penalty corners for Lehigh, but they were unable to score on junior goalkeeper Bryn Underwood and AU’s tough defense. Aside from an unsuccessful penalty corner by American, both teams’ strong defensive performances continued to stifle all offense and kept the game stuck at a 1-1 standstill.
Thanks to the unrelenting tie, a shootout was implemented to decide a winner. Both teams shot on the same goal and had all eyes on them as the whole crowd moved down to watch closely.
After the first set of five shots for each team, the game remained locked as only sophomore midfielder Tayla-Jade Weiss and Lehigh defender Guusje Hogendoorn scored. Underwood and Lehigh goalkeeper Maddie Kahn maintained their shutdown play they had been exhibiting all game. Following the tie in the best-of-five shootout, the shootout switched to a sudden victory format.
Sudden death continued for three scoreless rounds. In the ninth round, freshman midfielder Agustina Roffo shot first and missed. Lehigh midfielder Julia Gatelein lined up to face Underwood and scored, putting an end to the game after more than 80 minutes of play.
The Lehigh team swarmed Gatelein and Kahn, their heroes in this battle. On AU’s side of the field, friends and teammates hugged to mourn the end of their season and the end of the departing seniors’ college careers.