Nov. 4, 2006
WASHINGTON - No. 19 American University women's field hockey team earned their fourth-straight trip to the Patriot League Championship game with a 4-2 victory over Bucknell on Saturday at the William I Jacobs Recreational Complex.
The Eagles started the scoring off late in the first half on a Camila Infante (Santiago, Chile/Santiago) penalty stroke with just over two minutes left in the first stanza. First Team All-Patriot League Irene Schickhardt (Ludwigsburg, Germany/Schiller) beat several defenders and was on her way to her twelfth goal of the season. With a Bison defender blocking the shot with her body, American was granted a penalty stroke. Infante took it from there, giving the Eagles a 1-0 advantage just before the whistle blew.
Schickhardt started the second with the same momentum, doing a spin move at the top of the circle, resulting in a diving save by Bucknell goalkeeper Emily Groendyke. Keeping the pressure on, Schickhardt sent a driving pass through the circle and Infante connected with a one-time shot, extending AU's lead to two.
With the scoreboard displaying 2-0 in favor of American, AU freshman Savannah Graybill (Ephrata, Pa./Cocalico) slotted a pass to the far post, where forward Heidi Hershberger (Davis, Calif./Davis) was wide open for the finish, tallying what would be the game-winner. Hershberger now leads the Eagles and the Patriot League with five game-winning goals.
Bucknell was next to get on the board, finding the net for the first time all afternoon when Megan Krebs was there to put the rebound away. Less than three minutes later, Emily Harwood answered for the Eagles. Her first goal of the 2006 season, with the play being started on a penalty corner, couldn't have come at a better time. Harwood brought the lead back to three and finished off the scoring for American University.
AU out shot its foes 17 to 9, allowing just five shots on goal. Senior goalkeeper Allison Fayfich recorded three saves, while Bucknell's Groendyke registered six on the day.
No. 19 American will look to make its fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament tomorrow when they host Holy Cross, who defeated Lafayette 5-2 in the other semi-final match. The PL Championship will be played at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the William I Jacobs Recreational Complex.