The No. 18 American University field hockey team secured its 10th Patriot League Regular Season Championship and the No. 1 seed in the 2013 Patriot League Tournament with a 1-0 shutout of Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at Jacobs Field.
"It's always our first goal of the year to be regular season champions and it's obviously a significant deal to get to be at home but really our eyes are completely and utterly focused on being able to be Patriot League tournament champions," said Head Coach Steve Jennings. "It's a nice thing but I think we all know we have to play better than we did today and we certainly have our eyes on the bigger prize."
The two teams were scoreless at the end of the first half. Bucknell (7-9, 4-2) had a pair of opportunities early but Ashley Dalisera came up with both stops. American was awarded its first chance in the 12th minute on a penalty corner, with Erica Perrine making the save on Grace Wilson's try. The Eagles tallied the final attempt of the half in the 30th minute. Isabel Terwindt had a breakaway down the left sideline but her shot went wide of the cage.
American (11-4, 5-0) tried to take the advantage early in the second half as Victoria De Kepper's try went wide. The two teams battled back and forth until the Eagles were able to switch the field following a Bison penalty corner. Kati Rothenhoefer took the first shot, but Perrine came up with the save. The rebound bounced off her pads and Terwindt was there to put it away for the 1-0 lead in the 58th minute.
Bucknell pressured American for the equalizer down the stretch, but its two opportunities were off the mark as the Eagles held on for the 1-0 win and its sixth shutout of the season.
Both teams registered six shots in the game while American held a 2-1 edge in penalty corners. Dalisera made two saves for the Eagles as the starting goalkeeper and earned her fourth shutout of the year.
With today's win, American secured the right to host the 2013 Patriot League Tournament on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9. Check back to AUeagles.com for more information.
The Eagles are back at Jacobs Field tomorrow, Sunday, October 27, when it hosts William & Mary at 2 p.m. for Senior Day.