WASHINGTON - Junior Jennifer DeSimone and freshman Erica Skowron both tallied hat tricks to lead the American University lacrosse team to a 12-9 victory over Central Connecticut State on Wednesday. The chilly midweek contest closed out the non-conference schedule for the Eagles, who now look toward Saturday's Patriot League opener against Colgate.
American now rises to 2-5 overall for the season while CCSU falls to 1-5.
"It's always good having a win going into the Patriot League games," Head Coach Emma Wallace said. "We are seeing a lot of production from our younger players, and I think our senior, Sarah Bootman, has really stepped up and has started to contribute and take the load off of Jennifer DeSimone and Madison Hoon. We're seeing a lot of positive stuff heading into the PL, and we're ready to get going with that season now."
After a scoreless eight minutes to start the game, the Eagles quickly took control, tallying nine goals in the first half to lead the Blue Devils by five heading into the locker room. DeSimone got the scoring going for AU, tallying back-to-back points within the first ten minutes to give the Eagles an early 2-0 lead. A goal from CCSU cut that lead down to one before a 4-0 run by American gave them a 6-1 edge midway through the half.
The Blue Devils fought back briefly, notching two more points before freshmen Caitlin Schaefer and Amanda Medjid widened the gap back to six with three goals within the final five minutes. CCSU had the final say, though, with the last goal of the half to bring the score to 9-4 heading into the break.
CCSU continued closing that gap throughout the second half after a 5-1 run brought them within one with 8:19 left in the game. American stretched its lead back out to three in the final seven minutes, though, after goals from Skowron and senior Sarah Bootman brought the Eagles to their 12-9 final tally.
"I think, at the end of the first half and into the start of the second, we were just a little unfocused. So a couple of timeouts were called just to gather the girls again and make sure that they stuck to the game plan and really executed the details that we talked about in the pregame," Wallace said.
Five Eagles contributed to AU's scoring efforts, starting with the three-goal contributions of DeSimone and Skowron. Schaefer, Bootman and Medjid each added two to close out the Eagles' scoring. Skowron and Bootman added one and two assists, respectively, to lead the team with four points each.
The Blue Devils were led by a pair of three-goal efforts from Megan Szawlowski and Marissa Soto. Jessica Giangarra added another pair, while Kristen Baumer netted one.
"Moving forward, we're going to look to keep pushing the envelope on our offensive end. We're more organized and put together, and finishing shots is something that has gotten better, but we're going to continue working on it," Wallace said. "Defensively, we just need to work on reading their top players and executing our scouting report, and making sure that we are shutting down their normal tendencies."
The Eagles will be on the road this weekend for their first conference trip of the season at Colgate. First draw in Hamilton is scheduled for noon on Saturday, March 18.
For the latest on AU Lacrosse, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_Lacrosse.