Sophomore Emily Stankiewicz scored a career-best four goals and classmate Emma Larkin put together an impressive all-around effort in leading the American University women’s lacrosse team to a thrilling 17-16 win over Lehigh Saturday afternoon at Jacobs Field. The win improves AU’s Patriot League record to 2-1, while the loss is Lehigh’s first of the season after opening the 2010 season with eight straight wins.
American (4-7, 2-1 PL) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the game’s opening seven-plus minutes on goals from Lauren Schoenberger, Larkin, Paige Lin and Emily Burton. Lehigh (8-1, 2-1 PL), however, fired right back with four straight scores in less than a one-minute span to knot the score at four midway through the first half. Schoenberger and Stankiewicz added back-to-back strikes to give AU a 6-4 advantage at the 12:01 mark before the Mountain Hawks registered four of the final five goals of the half to take an 8-7 lead into intermission.
AU’s Brit Ferguson was the first to strike in the second half, knotting the score at eight less than 30 seconds into the half, although Lehigh converted three of the next four goals to take an 11-9 lead with 23:29 to play. But the Eagles responded with a key three-goal run, two of which were knocked home by Chiara Speziale, giving American a 12-11 advantage at the 18:52 mark.
The Mountain Hawks fired back with four of the next six goals over the next five-plus minutes, and held a slim 15-14 advantage with 13:12 to go. But the Eagles struck back, as Burton registered her second goal of the game to tie the score at 15 with 12:21 remaining. Amanda Makoid followed with the go-ahead conversion for AU at the 11:00 mark, and Bernadette Maher followed 31 seconds later with another goal to give the Eagles a 17-15 advantage.
With a slim two-goal lead resulting in increased pressure from Lehigh, the Eagles were able to keep control of the ball for the majority of the final 10 minutes of play. The Mountain Hawks trimmed AU’s lead to one with a goal at the 4:33 mark. With just over two minutes remaining, American’s Makoid caused a key turnover on Lehigh’s Julie McBrien, which was picked up by Speziale. The Eagles were able to run off the final two minutes on the clock, and hang on to the 17-16 victory.
Stankiewicz registered a career-best four goals for American, and Schoenberger recorded five points on two goals and three assists. Speziale added a career-high three goals for AU, while Burton and Makoid scored a pair of goals apiece.
Stankiewicz also recorded team-highs with four draw controls and three groundballs. Larkin accumulated team-bests with four caused turnovers and three groundballs, and added two draw controls and a goal. Additionally, Makoid and Alyssa Romano had three caused turnovers each for the Eagles.
Lehigh was led by Allison Thomas’ four goals. Lauren Dykstra and Lauren Murray each added three goals apiece for the Mountain Hawks.
AU outshot Lehigh by a 33-24 margin, and committed five fewer turnovers than the Mountain Hawks (20-15). The loss was Lehigh’s first of the season in nine total games. Both AU and Lehigh are tied at 2-1 in the Patriot League standings.
The Eagles will return to action at home next Saturday, April 3 against Lafayette. Game time from Jacobs Field is slated for 1 p.m.