WASHINGTON - Senior Kati Rothenhoefer found the back of the net with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, but the American University field hockey team was unable to overcome a 2-0 deficit against 20th-ranked Princeton Sunday afternoon at Jacobs Field.
With the loss, the Eagles fell to 5-3 on the season, while the Tigers moved to 2-4 overall.
The opening half between American and Princeton was evenly matched, with the Tigers holding a narrow 6-4 advantage on shots taken. However, the Tigers were the first to get on the scoreboard, breaking through with just 2:30 remaining in the first half.
Princeton carried its momentum into the second half, executing on a penalty corner just over two and a half minutes into the period to take a 2-0 lead. The Tigers continued to control the offense for much of the half, getting off 10 shots, but AU's defense was able to keep Princeton from getting back on the scoreboard.
In the final 10 minutes of action, American began to find some offensive opportunities, drawing its first penalty corner with less than eight minutes to play. Although the Eagles came up empty, they continued to battle, earning another penalty corner in the final minutes. This time, Rothenhoefer capitalized on the attempt, set up by seniors Carly Atchison and Rebecca Treharne. Unfortunately, AU was unable to complete the comeback, dropping the one-goal decision.
"We knew it would be a really tough fight. Princeton's always a tremendously well-prepared team and they have fantastic players," said American head coach Steve Jennings. "I think we did a great job early on, and then clearly Princeton had the ascendancy for the majority of the second half and at the very end of the first half. That's where we got in trouble.
"[Going forward, we will focus on] the knowledge that we need to be better than we were in the middle stretch of the match, and we need to be more clinical in our finishing and our circle play. Those are some of the things we will work on. Each week we're just trying to get better. We know we lost to a great team and hopefully we can use those lessons we learned today in the weeks ahead."
The Eagles return to action next weekend for a pair of road games, visiting Patriot League rival Bucknell on Saturday, while facing Temple on Sunday.