The American University field hockey team regained its standing in the Kookaburra / NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll this week, reappearing as the #19 team in the nation. The Eagles, fresh off a 3-1 victory over then No. 13 Penn State, will look to continue their momentum into Friday's home opener against Cal at 3 p.m. on Jacobs Field. American will also travel to James Madison this weekend, taking on the 13th ranked Dukes Sunday, Sept. 20, at 1 p.m.
American (3-2) has been led offensively by senior Savannah Graybill who has recorded team-highs in both points (10) and goals (4). Graybill tallied five points (2 G, 1 A) in the Terrapin Invitational last weekend and was named the Patriot League's Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts. The two-time All-Patriot League selection is steadily climbing the American record books as her 32 career goals rank 10th in program history and her 73 points rank 14th.
Melissa Casale, Anne-Meike de Wiljes and Christine Fingerhuth have also provided solid offensive production for the Eagles with each netting two goals early in the year. De Wiljes scored a team-best six points (2 G, 2 A) in the Terrapin Invitational and earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Senior Alyssa Poorman continues to impress in goal and has twice been named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week. She earned her most recent accolade after the Terrapin Invitational where she recorded two victories and made seven saves against 13th ranked Penn State. Poorman has allowed 1.98 goals per game while recording a .667 save percentage.
The Eagles and Golden Bears last met in the 2006 season opener, a match which Cal won in overtime, 4-3. Cal (2-2) will enter play on Friday looking to halt a two-game losing streak. They are led by junior Natalie Nurnberg who has scored three goals and sophomore Jessica Kreck who has two scores and one assist. Sophomore Maddie Hand has seen the bulk of the minutes in goal for the Golden Bears, giving up 1.52 goals per game with a .702 save percentage.
Friday's home opener can be seen live on the new Eagles Vision TV channel, featuring multiple camera angles, a live scoreboard and analysis from a studio broadcast team and sideline reporters. To sign up for Eagles Vision TV today, click here.
American and JMU met last season at Jacobs Field with the Dukes defeating the Eagles, 1-0. #13 James Madison (3-2) went on the road to Albany last weekend where they lost to #11 Massachusetts, 1-0, before defeating host Albany, 2-1. Freshman Tori Lindsey (2 G), senior Meghan Bain (2 G) and freshman Vivien Konijnendjik (1 G, 2 A) have each recorded a team-high four points on the year. Kelsey Cutchins has played every minute for the Dukes in goal and has allowed 1.40 goals per game with an .821 save percentage.