WASHINGTON - The American University women's lacrosse team took an early lead, but was unable to keep pace with UMBC late, as the Eagles fell to the Retrievers, 14-12.
AU fell to 1-4 overall this season while UMBC improved to 4-1.
"It was a tough loss today," head coach Emma Wallace said. "We played disciplined lacrosse, but our turnovers and lack of draw controls were a big factor in the result. We look forward to our next game against Old Dominion."
Freshman Emma Vinall led the Eagles with her third hat trick of the season, tallying four goals off five shots. Senior Leah Brennan and sophomore Izabella Jade followed with a career-high two goals each, while senior Lexi Perez, freshman Kendall Goldblum, and sophomores Erica Skowron and Casey Harkins each added one. Freshman Peyton Smith tied her career-high with three assists, while Skowron contributed another two for three points.
Junior goalkeeper Fiona Geier brought down 10 saves and picked up a game-high six ground balls followed by five from Perez, Vinall and sophomore Amanda Medjid. Brennan brought down a team-high five draw controls while junior Sydney Fry led the team for the second consecutive game with three caused turnovers.
Vinall, who entered the game averaging over six draw controls a game, was held to only two by UMBC's Lauren McDonald, who came away with eight for the day.
The Eagles hit season-highs with six free position goals, 36 ground balls, 13 caused turnovers, and 60 percent shooting (12-for-20).
The Retrievers were led by a six-goal effort from Sara Moeller. Carolyn Jamison and Caitlin Miller added three each while Lily Kennedy and Taylor Oliver both added one. Kelsey Major opened the game in goal and collected three saves off of 11 shots before Carly Tolino stepped in for the second half, bringing in one save off of five shots.
The Eagles dominated the first half, opening with a 4-0 run off of goals from Jade, Brennan, Perez, and Vinall. UMBC landed within two after a pair of back-to-back goals from Moeller and Jamison, but another series from Jade, Brennan, and Vinall gave AU its largest lead of the game at 7-2.
The Retrievers hit a quick succession of goals in the final five minutes to cut the AU lead back down to two, but a timely free position shot from Harkins, her first career goal as an Eagle, sent American into the break with an 8-5 lead.
UMBC opened the second half with back-to-back goals but a nice shot from Goldblum sent the two teams on a back-and-forth battle throughout the first 10 minutes of the half. With 22 minutes left in regulation, the Retrievers landed within one of the Eagles as a goal from Miller sent UMBC on a 5-0 run to take a 14-11 lead. Vinall's fourth goal of the day halted the run with just over 10 minutes remaining, but the Eagles were unable to break through the tough UMBC defense and closed the game with the 14-12 loss.
The Eagles will return home on Tuesday, March 6, to open a four-game home series with a 3 p.m. draw against Old Dominion on Jacobs Field. For the latest on American Lacrosse, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_Lacrosse.