Though the leaves have yet to turn, fall sports are in full swing at AU. Here’s a roundup of how the Eagles are faring early in the season.
Coach Steve Jennings’s squad got out of the gate quickly, defeating New Hampshire and Albany without allowing a goal. But losses to Iowa and Duke followed, making Saturday’s matchup with Northwestern at College Park, Md., that much more critical.
Following the 3-1 loss to Duke, Jennings praised his team’s effort.
“Overall there were a number of players who left everything on the field today,” Jennings told AUEagles.com. “Annie de Wiljes, Tatum Dyer, and Anne van Erp forced Duke to work extremely hard to have productive offensive momentum today. We are eager to work on some adjustments this week at practice and take a step forward next weekend.”
A tough schedule has not intimidated the women’s soccer team, which sits at 2-2-1 heading into Sunday’s showdown with Towson at Reeves Field. The Eagles earned a hard fought tie with Maryland on Sept. 5 after keeper Kelsey Wiggins turned away 18 of Maryland’s 19 shots during 110 minutes of action.
Junior Kelsey Brasher, who scored AU’s goal against Maryland and added two in the Sept. 2 victory over Mount St. Mary’s, was named Patriot League BRINE Offensive Player of the Week. Classmate Erin Stebbins earned Defensive Player of the Week honors.
“Starting off 0-2 was difficult, but in the last three games we’ve shown a lot of improvement,” Coach David Bucciero said. “We lost our first game at Georgetown 2-1, and were really fatigued. I felt like there was a big difference between that game and Maryland. We battled back even after they tied it, and I thought played them even. We’ve been using a lot of players and we’re getting contributions from everyone, which is great.”
If early season form holds, the AU men’s soccer team should be in line for a win Friday over Princeton in New Jersey. It’s been win, loss, win, loss for the Eagles, who have outscored their opponents 8-4 this year.
The biggest win of the year came Sept. 5 over North Carolina State. Junior midfielder Luis Martinez recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Eagles to a 3-0 win in Durham, N.C.
Coach Todd West boiled his team’s play down succinctly.
“I wish we were 4-0, but I’m pleased with the way we’re playing,” he said.
So far, so good for the AU cross country team. With one meet in the books, the Eagles appear to be in good shape heading into Saturday’s key meet in Annapolis.
At the opening Mount St. Mary’s 5k Duels on Aug. 29, both the men and women ran well. The men’s team finished with an overall record of 4-1 led by second-place finisher Nick Ryan, while the women’s team finished 4-2 with a second-place finish of its own from freshman Octavia Rinehardt.
Ryan was named Patriot League Male Runner of the Week, while Rinehardt earned league Female Rookie of the Week honors. In addition, Josh Olsen, competing in his first collegiate race, finished in 12th place at 16:29.24 and won Patriot League Male Rookie of the Week honors.
With two tournaments in the books and the Harvard Invitational on the horizon, the AU women’s volleyball team sits at 3-3.
The Eagles opened the year by defeating George Mason and Georgetown at the D.C. Classic, where they lost to George Washington. Next it was on to College Station and the Texas A&M Invitational, where they dropped decisions to Texas A&M and BYU before knocking off Siena.
It’s off to Boston for AU, who’ll take on Harvard Friday before playing Dartmouth and Long Beach State on Saturday.