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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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wlax v bucknell 4/13 pic

Eagles stampede over Bison on senior day

AU lacrosse improves their Patriot League record in last home game of the season

The American University lacrosse team (6-8) secured a 12-9 win over the Bucknell Bison (4-8) on April 13 for the Eagles’ last home game of the season.

Senior midfielders Lizzie de Guzman and Hannah Spease and defenders Jordan Mitchell and Olivia Molfetta were all honored prior to the game by their teammates, family, friends and fans. 

“These seniors have done an incredible job all year,” head coach Lindsay Teeters said at the game. “This group has done an incredible on the field [and] off the field.”  

The game honored Mental Health Awareness Day. The Eagles were well-equipped with green hair accessories and specialized warm-up shirts with the green ribbon mental health awareness symbol. 

Coming into the game, all of AU’s opponents except the Lafayette Leopards (4-9) had outscored them in conference play.

The game started with intensity as senior Mitchell won the draw control for the Eagles. The team quickly got the ball to sophomore midfielder Reagan Murdoch for her to make the first goal of the day, about thirty seconds after the clock started. AU’s tough defense protected the early lead by inducing turnovers and blocking Bucknell out of the attack area. Bucknell put themselves on the board with a free position goal about seven minutes into the game.

Eagle sophomore attacker Annabelle Jackson responded quickly, making an impressive shot mid-fall to put AU back in the lead. After Jackson’s goal and a timeout by Bucknell, the Bison refocused and charged ahead in an offensive run, shooting and making three goals. Murdoch ended the Bison’s run with her second goal of the game near the end of the first period to put the Eagles down by one at the end of the first period. 

Bucknell struck first in the second period with a quick goal, speedily answered by Jackson scoring a bounce shot for the Eagles. The Bison soon moved further ahead of AU in scoring and junior Lexi Rakis replaced junior Caleigh Forti in goal. Bucknell continued their scoring run unimpeded and Forti returned to the position near the end of the period. 

Bucknell’s defense worked well against AU, forcing many shots to go wide. The defensive aggressiveness backfired when the Bison committed a foul within the 8-meter arc, and sophomore midfielder Kellie Linehan made the free position shot on a bounce to close off the first half of the game. 

AU came out of halftime with a new intensity, both offensively and defensively. After one wide-shot attempt by Jackson, freshman defender Deirdre Brown caused Bucknell to turn over the ball, and AU’s 6-goal run began. 

Eagle junior attacker Alyssa Apuzzo made the first shot of the period, driving to goal and shooting a high shot past Bucknell junior goalkeeper Colleen Kazanjian. Next, Spease won the draw control and scored on the resulting possession. Spease won the following draw control again and AU’s offense quickly continued their work, rapidly passing around the arc with de Guzman getting an open-look pass to Jackson in the middle, who got the ball off quickly to find the back of the net. 

Jackson’s goal tied up the game at 8, and the Eagles radiated excitement as Jackson lept into her teammates’ arms. 

Bucknell called a timeout to refocus but only managed to hold AU at bay for a few minutes until the Eagles resumed their scoring. The Bison had five shot attempts in the period, with AU goalkeeper Forti making three saves, including one on a free-position shot. 

The third period ended with AU ahead 11-8. When asked about the quick turnaround, Teeters said, “Our game plan didn’t necessarily change. You know, we made some slight adjustments, but the biggest thing was [sic] they needed their stick work to improve… They just needed to stay composed.”

The composure continued into the fourth and final period for the Eagles. Bucknell’s defense and shot-blocking improved in the period, and the Bison managed to score first deep into the period. AU held onto the lead. In the last minute of the game while playing a man-up due to a green card being called by Bucknell, Eagle midfielder Murdoch scored to give AU assurance of the win.

The final score of 12-9 allowed AU to improve their Patriot League record to 2-5. 

“I’m excited to see what happens next weekend,” Teeters said. 

The Eagles’ final two regular season games are scheduled against Boston University on April 20 and Navy on April 25. 

“The leadership that they’ve given… it’s been incredible,” Teeters said about the senior players who celebrated post-game with their teammates and families. “I’m so glad they got this one today.” 

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Turner. Copy editing by Luna Jinks and Ariana Kavoossi.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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