Oct 16, 2016
PHILADELPHIA - Rafaela Rubas finished with a hat trick and 20th-ranked American survived a late rally by Drexel as the Eagles earned a 4-3 victory over the Dragons in a non-conference field hockey match on Sunday.
The Eagles hit the 10-win plateau for the 13th time in head coach Steve Jennings' 18 seasons at AU, improving to 10-4 overall. American has now won three straight and four of five, with an overtime loss being the only blemish in that stretch.
Drexel fell to 6-9 overall with its fourth straight loss.
Rubas' hat trick was the second by an Eagle this season. Natalie Konerth had three goals in a win at Holy Cross on Sept. 17.
"We had a strong start today which helped us get in the driver's seat early against a strong Drexel team," said Jennings. "In the end, the game got a little tight, but we were able to manage the emotions of the moment to take care of business.
"We feel very positive about our growth this weekend and are happy to get two big wins on the road."
Just 2:24 into the game, the AU sophomore took the ball and scurried from midfield through traffic to put the Eagles ahead. Her second goal came at the 20:49 mark when her shot from close to the goal line went off Drexel goalkeeper Erin Gilchrist and into the net.
Haley Bowcutt converted a rebound less than three minutes later to give AU a 3-0 lead it whold hold at halftime.
Drexel got on the board 12 minutes into the second half when Megan Wiest converted a turnover and scored from the center of the circle.
Rubas then gave the Eagles a cushion with 9:47 left, scoring off assists from Bowcutt and Natalie Marsh on a penalty corner. Her third goal of the match and eighth of the season would prove important down the stretch.
Wiest entered the match as a sub and sneaked behind the defense to score her second goal and pull the Dragons within 4-2 with 4:37 to play. Idrienne Walker made it a one-goal game with 1:08 left, but AU was able to run out the clock.
American held a 16-10 edge in shots and an 8-2 advantage in penalty corners. Maura Jacobs made five saves in the Eagle net, while Gilchrist made four for the Dragons.
AU returns home to celebrate All-American Weekend next Saturday in an 11 a.m. match with Colgate. The Eagles then host 8th-ranked Delaware on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.