WASHINGTON – The American University field hockey team is opening postseason play on Friday, as the Eagles travel to Boston to face Bucknell at 3 p.m. in the Patriot League Tournament semifinal round.
AU closed its regular season with an overall record of 13-5, 5-1 in the Patriot League, after splitting a pair of overtime games against No. 13 Wake Forest and Appalachian State last weekend. Bucknell broke even during its regular season slate, closing with an overall record of 9-9 and 3-3 in the Patriot League.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
AU enters the PL Tournament as the No. 2 seed behind host Boston University. BU was American's only conference loss of the season after the Terriers outlasted the Eagles, 2-1, in Boston on Oct. 7.
This is familiar territory for the Eagles, as they were the No. 2 seed during the 2016 tournament, also held in Boston, when they overcame BU in the championship game to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Six Eagles earned All-Patriot League nods on Monday, including two major award winners after junior Rafaela Rubas was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year and freshman Noor Coenen was voted the Rookie of the Year. Junior Megan Benson joined Rubas and Coenen on the All-Patriot League First Team while senior Haley Bowcutt, and juniors Rachel Stefano and Maura Jacobs were voted to the Second Team.
Jacobs was also selected as the Patriot League Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was joined by Bowcutt and Rubas on the Academic All-Patriot League Team.
Coenen continues to hold one of the top five rankings for Division I freshmen in goals per game (0.83), 18th overall, and is the sixth freshman, 33rd overall, in points per game (1.83). She leads the team with 15 goals and 33 points on the season.
Rubas sits just behind Coenen with 32 points off of 12 goals and a team-high eight assists. Bowcutt shares Rubas' leading spot with eight assists of her own and added 10 goals to bring her up to 28 points during the regular season. Bowcutt has had a record-breaking season thus far, earning new career-bests across the board.
Jacobs continues to be among the leading goalkeepers in the league with a first-place ranking in goals against average (1.56). She has had 46 saves this season, averaging 2.71 per game with a .639 save percentage.
The Eagles average 3.4 goals per game off of 17.7 shots per game.
SCOUTING THE BISON
Bucknell holds the No. 3 seed in the PL tournament after going 9-9 overall in the regular season and 3-3 in the league. Four All-Patriot League players lead the Bison's charge, starting with senior Stephanie Dressler and junior Lexi Quick, who were both named to the First Team, and senior Emily Finn and sophomore Brittany Willwerth, who were selected on the Second Team.
Willwerth leads the Bison with seven goals six assists for 20 points. Quick ranks second with five goals and a team-high seven assists for 17 points.
Senior Emily Finn leads Bucknell from the cage with 94 saves this season. She ranks just behind Jacobs in the league with a 2.36 goals against average. She averages 5.2 saves per game and holds a .690 save percentage.
The Bison average 2.1 goals per game off of 11.9 shots per game.
Holy Cross and host Boston University will go head-to-head in the first semifinal game, scheduled for noon on Friday. The winner of that game and the AU-Bucknell match will fight for the conference title at noon on Sunday.
For the latest on AU Field Hockey, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_FieldHockey.