WASHINGTON - A second-half rally by the American University lacrosse team fell just short as the Eagles fell to Bucknell, 9-8, on Saturday, April 8.
AU now falls to 2-10 overall, 0-5 in the Patriot League, while the Bison rise to 8-4 for the season and 3-2 in the conference.
Senior Sarah Bootman led the Eagles' attack with a career-high five points, putting away a team-high four goals and one assist. Junior Jennifer DeSimone followed with a four-point game off of one goal and three assists to tie her career-high. Senior Madison Hoon and freshman Izabella Lopez rounded out the scoring efforts for American.
Hoon also led the squad with four draw controls while junior Lexi Perez and DeSimone tied with a team-high four ground balls.
The Bison were led by a four-goal effort from Audrey Walsh, who also tied with teammates Christina Manis, Katherine Doyle and Lucia Smircich with four ground balls. Maddy Molinari led the team with four draw controls.
The Bison picked up the early lead, with Molinari putting away a pair of back-to-back goals in the sixth minute of regulation. Bootman followed with a couple of her own, getting an assist from DeSimone on the first and running the second in solo to tie the game at 2-2 at the 10-minute mark.
Bucknell closed the half with a 6-1 run, including three back-to-back goals from Walsh. Hoon disrupted the Bison's offense briefly, putting away her first of the night off of a DeSimone assist, but Bucknell closed the half with an 8-3 lead over the Eagles.
American responded with one of the strongest halves of the season, holding Bucknell to only one goal in the final 30 minutes of the play. Once again, it was Bootman who got on the board first, taking a pass from DeSimone in the 11th minute to bring the Eagles within four.
DeSimone followed with a goal of her own off of a free position shot before Eve Lukowski brought the Bison back up by four with the team's one and only goal of the half.
The Eagles staged a late scramble in the final five minutes of regulation, starting with an unassisted goal from Hoon. Lopez followed with an acrobatic goal of her own, taking a cross from Bootman through traffic to land the second goal of her AU career.
American gained a quick possession from the draw, pushing towards Bucknell's goal where a late foul by Callie DeWitt gave Bootman one final free position attempt. Bootman capitalized on the opportunity, bringing the Eagles back within one with three seconds left on the clock. Although Hoon was able to grab the quick draw control, the clock ran down before the Eagles were able to hit the equalizer.
AU will return home on Saturday, April 15, to face Army at 1 p.m. at Jacobs Field. For the latest on American Lacrosse, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_Lacrosse.