The American University field hockey team upended #13 Penn State on Sunday, defeating the Nittany Lions 3-1 in the Terrapin Invitational in College Park, Md. Sophomore Melissa Casale scored the game-winning goal in the 46th minute.
American (3-2) began the scoring early as Rachel Carney netted her first goal of the season in the fifth minute on a deflection of an Anne-Meike de Wiljes shot off a penalty corner. Play evened out for the remainder of the half and the Eagles took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Penn State (1-5) earned two penalty corners early in the second half but could not capitalize as senior net minder Alyssa Poorman stood tall in goal, making saves on both attempts. The Eagles upped their advantage to two in the 46th minute on Casale's goal. Savannah Graybill received a pass from Kirstin Gebhart at the top left of the circle and fired the ball past PSU goalkeeper Ayla Halus to a diving Casale on the right baseline where she was able to touch the ball into the net. The Nittany Lions would later get one goal back courtesy of a penalty stroke in the 65th minute, cutting American's advantage to 2-1.
The Eagles, however, regained control of the tempo over the final five minutes and added an insurance goal just over one minute later. Graybill was credited with the goal after receiving a pass from Christine Fingerhuth in the middle of the circle. Graybill brought the ball to the right baseline and fired a shot straight into the chest of Halus. Graybill was able to corral the rebound and sent a centering pass into the middle where it was deflected by a Penn State defender into the goal, giving American the final 3-1 margin.
American finished the game with a 10-8 advantage in shots and a 7-5 advantage in penalty corners. Poorman recorded seven saves in goal, including four in the second half to preserve the win.
The Eagles will make their home debut on Friday, Sept. 18, against California at 3 p.m. at the Jacobs Recreational Complex. The game can be seen live on the new Eagles Vision TV channel featuring multiple camera angles, a live scoreboard and analysis from a studio broadcast team and sideline reporters. To sign up for Eagles Vision TV, click here.