A new season dawns with a new coach but a veteran team as the American University women's lacrosse hits the practice field this fall.
New head coach Jenna Petrucelli welcomes back eight of the top nine scorers and the starting goalkeeper from last year's team. She said that early season workouts are an attempt to both re-learn some fundamentals, as well as blending a talented freshman class with her returning veterans.
"Things are going well," said Petrucelli, who came to American after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati. "We have a lot of work to do… but I'm confident we're in a good place. We know how to help the team.
"We're still a young team. Our biggest objective will be merging the young and seasoned. We need to unify them as a team, making sure the chemistry is good throughout.
"We want to have a very high work capacity and a high-intensity culture," she said. "Humble and hungry is what we've told them… We're so excited. All I want to do is play."
Despite missing four games with injury, midfielder Emma Vinall led the Eagles in scoring last year with 35 goals – finishing seventh in the Patriot League.
Although second-leading scorer Lexi Perez graduated, seven other AU players who reached double figures in both goals and points are back. They include Leah Brennan, Izabella Jade, Amanda Medjid, Erica Skowron (seventh in PL in assists per game), Kendall Goldblum, Casey Harkins and Peyton Smith.
Fiona Geier, who was third in the PL in saves per game, returns for her senior season in the AU net.
The Eagles begin their fall schedule on Saturday, Sept. 29 with a day's worth of matches at George Washington University. American also plays at La Salle (Oct. 6) and George Mason (Oct. 20).
FALL LACROSSE SCHEDULE
Saturday, Sept. 29 – at George Washington (full schedule TBD)
Saturday, Oct. 6 - at La Salle
Saturday, Oct. 20 – at George Mason (AU matches on Field 4)
9:00 a.m. – American vs. Longwood
11:00 a.m. – American vs. George Mason
Sunday, Oct. 21 – AU Alumnae Game, noon