The American University lacrosse team couldn't hold off a late rally by Lafayette, falling to the Leopards, 15-13, in overtime on Saturday afternoon at Jacobs Field.
"I think it was one of our more complete games in terms of connecting our offense to defense," said Head Coach Emma Wallace. "All in all that game wasn't for lack of effort or for lack of execution, we just kind of came up on the other side of the coin."
Terese Buechli struck first on a free position just under three minutes in and Olivia Mangan put American (4-10, 0-5) on top 2-1 on an unassisted tally. Lafayette knotted it up again with 19:56 to go in the half on a goal by Kirsten Wilhelmsen but consecutive scores by Alex Lugovina gave the Eagles a 4-2 lead. Charlotte Avallone answered with back-to-back goals for the Leopards to tie it up once again with 13:56 remaining. Madison Hoon sparked a 5-1 run for American but Ana White found the back of the net for Lafayette on a free position with three seconds to go to cut the Eagles' advantage to 9-6 heading into the intermission.
Kirstin Wilhelmsen scored the first goal out of the break before Maher notched consecutive unassisted tallies for the 11-7 American lead with 24:03 to play. Lafayette (5-9, 1-5) responded with four unanswered tallies to tie it up at 11 at the 10:46 mark. The two teams traded goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation to head into extra time knotted up at 13-all. Jessica Wojciechowski and Jordan Harrington had the final goals for the Eagles.
White came up with the draw control for the Leopards to open the first overtime period. Lafayette set up its offense and Wilhelmsen was able to find the back of the net on a free position with 3:01 to go. Laura Kleiber secured the win for the Leopards, scoring on a breakaway with 2:26 remaining. American had a chance in the final minute on a caused turnover by Hoon, but Lafayette held the Eagles and forced an American turnover on its way to a 15-13 win.
Mangan finished with a team-high four points, registering one goal and three assists. Lugovina and Maher completed hat tricks for the Eagles. Maher also led the team with seven draw controls and Mangan collected a team-best three ground balls. Jackie Ferri had five saves for American.
Wilhelmsen posted six goals to lead all scorers and Avallone and Kleiber had four points apiece. White led the team with eight draw controls and Charlotte Rath recorded three ground balls collected. Meghan Curtin made two stops between the pipes for the Leopards.
Lafayette held a 23-16 advantage in shots and 13-10 edge in ground balls collected. The Eagles had a 17-14 edge in draw controls for the game.
"There are a lot of positives from this game, but we just need to be prepared to work hard and keep growing and not hang our head for this loss," said Wallace. "There's plenty of season left, there are plenty of beatable teams left, so we just need to look forward to those and get back to work on Monday."
American will head to Baltimore, Md. next to take on one of the conference's newest members, No. 15 Loyola (Md.), on Wednesday, Apr. 9 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Patriot League Network.