Women’s soccer continues rough season, adding loss from American University

Junior+forward+Melissa+Lamanna+scores+her+fourth+goal+of+the+season+during+Saturdays+back-and-forth+affair+against+American.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Junior forward Melissa Lamanna scores her fourth goal of the season during Saturday’s back-and-forth affair against American. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Luke Ritchie

The Lafayette women’s soccer team (2-7 overall, 0-3 Patriot League) lost 4-3 to American University on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Action initiated in the opening minutes, with American scoring just a minute and 31 seconds into the match when American freshman midfielder Brooke Steel snuck a shot past Lafayette junior goalkeeper Natalie Neumann. 

Neumann was credited with five saves on the night.

Saturday’s back-and-forth affair showed a strong effort by the Leopards. Lafayette struck back in the seventh minute when senior forward Katie Butler’s pass found junior forward Melissa Lamanna right in front of the goal, marking Lamanna’s fourth goal of the season and bringing the score to 1-1.  

“In the past games in the Patriot League, we were up by one goal and then we went down by two and then ended up losing, so we know that the games are always close, and anyone can come back at any time,” freshman defender Lauren Stewart said. “We just kept fighting and realized that we could hopefully end up winning if we kept going.”

American regained the lead in the 29th minute after Steel scored again from directly in front of the goal.

The Leopards equalized going into the half when a shot by freshman defender Gretchen Waechter from the right corner of the penalty box went in off a pass by sophomore defender Lauren Cunningham, bringing the score to 2-2.

Waechter and the other underclassmen have had to step up this season with the team experiencing an influx of injuries. 

“I think the learning curve is just watching what the seniors and the upperclassmen are doing and trying to just learn as much as we can,” Stewart said. “We’re studying how they’re playing and doing our best to contribute to the team.”

The Eagles regained the lead when American senior midfielder Tate Jordan scored in the 67th minute. Ten minutes later, American increased its lead to two when Jordan scored a break-away goal behind Lafayette’s defense.

Lafayette scored again in the 89th minute when Waechter found junior forward Sara Oswald on the doorstep of the goal, marking Oswald’s first goal of the season and cutting America’s victory to one.

“Playing till the end, I think that sometimes when the clock gets low, we think that we have it in the bag,” Stewart said. “We need to just keep fighting until the very last second to make sure that we stay in the game.”

Both teams ended the night with nine shots each, but all of the Eagles’ nine were on goal compared to the Leopards’ seven.

The Leopards will travel to Baltimore tomorrow to face Loyola University at 2 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex. 

“We want to win. We’re looking for our first [Patriot League] win, and we know that we have to do it soon so we’re going in with that goal,” Stewart said.