WASHINGTON - Senior Lexi Perez and freshman Emma Vinall both led with hat-trick performances and junior Fiona Geier put up a career-record performance in goal, but the American University women's lacrosse team was unable to keep pace with Holy Cross late in the game and fell to the Crusaders, 12-10.
AU is now 3-12 overall, 0-7 in the Patriot League, heading into the final two home games of the regular season while the Crusaders rise to 6-10 overall and 4-4 in the league.
"It was a really tough battle today," head coach Emma Wallace said. "We did a lot of great things, but little mistakes and turnovers played a major role in the outcome of the game. We were out-drawn, which didn't help, but Fiona Geier had a stellar day between the pipes to anchor the defensive effort."
Perez earned her third-career hat trick during the first half, pacing the Eagles along with sophomore Izabella Jade as American closed the first 30 minutes of play at a 6-4 deficit.
Vinall took over the charge early in the second half, putting away three unanswered goals to give the Eagles their first lead of the game at 7-6 with 25:44 remaining in regulation. Holy Cross tied the game briefly before freshman Kendall Goldblum regained a one-goal lead for AU with her only point of the afternoon. But four unanswered goals from the Crusaders built the gap back up to three.
Back-to-back goals from sophomore Casey Harkins and senior Leah Brennan brought American back within one with less than five minutes remaining, but a final netted shot from Holy Cross secured the 12-10 win for the host team.
Junior goalkeeper Fiona Geier returned to action for the first time in four games and put up quite the performance, nabbing a career-high 20 saves to bring her season total up to 110 for 11 games. That performance is a new single-game high for the Patriot League this season, surpassing the previous best of 18 saves by Maddie Burns (Army West Point).
Goldblum led the Eagles with four draw controls while Geier picked up a team-high four ground balls.
The Crusaders were led by eight goal-scorers, starting with Keely Connors (3), Bryn Carroll (2) and Baker Earl (2). Connors also brought down a game-high nine draw controls and caused four turnovers while Maggie Moriarty picked up a game-high six ground balls.
Goalkeeper Julia Maloney earned six saves.
The Crusaders held an 18-6 advantage in draw controls, 31-19 in ground balls, and led 47-21 in shots.
The Eagles will return home for the final two games of the regular season, hosting Lafayette at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and Lehigh at noon on Saturday for Senior Day. For the latest on American Lacrosse, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_Lacrosse.