The American University women's soccer team faced crosstown rival George Washington on Tuesday afternoon, and despite a hard-fought comeback, the Eagles came up a goal short in a 2-1 decision. The match was played on the turf of George Washington's Mount Vernon Field.
George Washington (3-3-2) got off to a hot start with two goals in the first 20 minutes of play. In the 14th minute, the Colonials' Sierra Smidinger headed in a free kick off a feed from Molly Bruh. George Washington added its second goal in the 18th minute off a rebound by Ashley Starks.
With American (4-5) facing a two-goal deficit heading into the second half, the momentum of the match shifted toward the Eagles. In the 56th minute, the Eagles got on the scoreboard with freshman Kristin Piorun's first goal of her career. Fellow freshman Jasmine Mohandesi crossed the ball from the right side to Piorun, who was able to put it past Colonials' goalkeeper Lindsey Rowe.
The Eagles had several good opportunities late to tie the match. With just over 16 minutes remaining, freshman Kendra Jones dished it to a streaking Carleigh Morba just in front of the goal. Morba's header sailed just wide right of the goal.
American continued to apply the pressure in a frantic final 10 minutes. With 6:38 to play, junior Brooke Sheppard fired it to senior Mary Riegler, who knocked it just over the top of the goal. Less than two minutes later, senior Erin Koch fired a long-range shot that glazed off the top of the goalpost and out of play. Finally, with under a minute to play, Mohandesi's last chance ditch game-tying effort was deflected over the goalpost by Rowe.
The Eagles outshot George Washington 16-11 in the match. Senior Kelsey Brasher led the Eagles with four shots.
"We did not come out with energy and effort necessary to win this game and that is disappointing," remarked American Head Coach David Bucciero. "We came alive in the second half and showed how we are capable of playing, but the hole we dug ourselves in was too big to get out. For the first time all season, the effort and concentration in the first half was not what it needed to be and we paid a price. We must learn from this and come with a greater effort for 90 minutes in every game we play."
American will complete its three-match roadtrip this Sunday, September 27 at Robert Morris in Moon Township, Pa. First kick is set for 1 p.m.