The American University lacrosse team battled back from a three-goal deficit in the first half on its way to a 16-8 victory over Holy Cross in its Patriot League opener on Saturday afternoon at Jacobs Field.
Holy Cross (4-5, 1-1) struck first a minute and a half into the game and took an early 3-0 advantage on a free position shot from Kat Sutton at the 24:46 mark. Alex Lugovina snapped the streak with an unassisted tally. Sutton answered with another goal for the Crusaders but back-to-back scores from Emily Burton and Kimberly Collins brought American within one, 4-3. After an unassisted goal from Laura Ryan the Eagles went on a 5-0 run to take the lead for good, with Collins finding the back of the net with two seconds remaining in the half for the 9-6 advantage.
American (2-6, 1-0) extended its lead to 11-6 in the second half with Jordan Harrington scoring 48 seconds in and Emily Maher adding the tally on the dish from Samantha Marshall. Holy Cross answered with consecutive goals, but the Eagles were able to hold the Crusaders scoreless for the rest of the game while adding five straight goals for the 16-8 final score.
Lugovina bested her career-high set earlier this season, leading American with five goals in the contest. Collins and Harrington each finished with a hat trick and Marshall added three assists. Nicole Lombardo collected a team-high three ground balls and Maher came up with seven draw controls. Teal Harrison made five saves between the pipes for the Eagles.
American held a 31-17 advantage in shots, 7-5 edge in ground balls collected and 16-9 advantage in draw controls for the game.
The Eagles continue Patriot League action on Saturday, March 23 when they head to Hamilton, N.Y. to take on Colgate at 1 p.m.