Lacrosse falls to Mercer in a close game
Annabelle Jackson and Maddy Spratt led with four goals each
The American University lacrosse team (3-2) fell to the Mercer University Bears (2-1) in their March 4 game 15-14.
In the final game of a three game homestand, American began the scoring, as they had in their previous four games as well. Mercer won the opening draw control, but the AU defense pressured their attack and forced a shot that junior goalkeeper Mary Alice Collins saved easily. Freshman midfielder Reagan Murdoch broke away to give the Eagles the 1-0 lead. American continued to get scoring chances and readily shot at Mercer but were unsuccessful. Mercer followed up with two goals of their own and took the lead over American. This was the first time AU had trailed at home all season.
American junior midfielder Hannah Spease tied it back up, and freshman attacker Annabelle Jackson followed her lead with a bounce shot goal to make it 3-2 for the Eagles. Not wanting to be left out of the scoring parade, sophomore attacker Maddy Spratt added a goal of her own just 29 seconds later. Mercer countered with another two goals of their own to tie it up once again. With just 49 seconds left in the quarter, Jackson scored her second of the game to retake the one goal lead for the Eagles. The first quarter was dominated by offense on both sides, with the teams combining for 18 shots and nine goals.
The second quarter would be much of the same as the first, as American kicked off the scoring once again. The referees dealt a yellow card to Mercer, and senior attacker Emma Hare took advantage and scored a man-up goal to make it 6-4 AU. Mercer won the draw control and cut the Eagles’ lead in half. They quickly added another two goals and led the Eagles 7-6. The rest of the quarter continued as a back and forth affair, and American never regained the lead. Jackson netted her third of the game with just eight seconds remaining to finish the half 9-8, Mercer.
The third period was the quietest of the whole game, with just one goal from AU and three from Mercer. Both goalies performed well, combining for six saves on 11 total shots. Spratt scored American’s only goal of the quarter thanks to being man-up after Mercer’s yellow card.
The fourth quarter would be much more eventful, with the two teams doubling their combined total from the previous quarter. Jackson began the scoring with her fourth of the game, already the 11th goal of the season for the freshman. Sophomore midfielder Becca Frank added on, shrinking Mercer’s lead to just one goal. Mercer had their number, however, and scored the next one. The quarter continued on the way it began, with AU and Mercer exchanging goals but with Mercer always one step ahead. The game remained tight and was tied up thanks to Hare scoring a man-up goal with seven minutes left. Junior defender Jordan Mitchell played well for much of the game but took a yellow card with about two minutes left in the game. Mercer scored what would be the game winner just after and held on to win 15-14.
In their previous two games against Howard and GW, AU had 11 and eight different goal scorers, respectively. Against Mercer, their 14 goals came from just six different players, with 11 coming from Jackson, Spratt and Hare.
“When we're finding success it is when we're sharing the ball is when we've got, you know, prolific scoring from multiple people,” head coach Lindsay Teeters. “It's still early in the season and you know, we need to make sure that we're continuing to spread that offense and have seven powerful scorers. It's really important for us to play a physical game and to be ready for those and to be able to handle the pressure, which is something I think we struggled with today”
The Eagles next take on the UC Davis Aggies on Friday, March 10 at 8 p.m. in California.
This article was edited by Delaney Hoke and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Natasha LaChac and Sophia Rocha.