Nov. 6, 2005
Washington, D.C. - The top-seeded and fifth-ranked American University field hockey team earned a berth in its third straight NCAA Tournament with a 4-2 win over Holy Cross in the Patriot League Championship game on Sunday afternoon at the William I. Jacobs Recreation Complex. The Crusaders finish the season with an overall mark of 10-10 (3-2 Patriot League), while the Eagles continue their season, improving to 19-1 (5-0 Patriot League) overall.
Denise Infante scored twice for the Eagles, who also got goals from Irene Schickhardt and Maggie Hall.
Junior forward Tara Welch (New Boston, N.H.) scored both Holy Cross goals and spoiled American's bid for a shutout, as both tallies came with less than eight minutes remaining. With her two goals on Sunday, Welch set a new Holy Cross program record for points in a single season. After tallying five points between the semifinal and championship games this weekend, she finished the season with 46 total points, passing current HC assistant coach Ali (Roberts) Hawk's mark of 42 points during the 1998 season. Welch also tied a Holy Cross single-season record in goals (19 goals) this year.
The two teams played the first twenty-three minutes in a scoreless deadlock, but American took a 3-0 lead into halftime, after posting two goals in a six minute span, and then getting its third with no time left on the clock at the half.
Schickhardt picked up an unassisted score at the 23:35 mark and Hall gave the Eagles a 2-0 edge when she deflected a pass from Camila Infante into the back of the net at the 29:25 mark. Then Denise Infante scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal when she made good on a penalty corner as time expired in the first half.
Infante (D.) scored her second goal of the game at the 47:51 mark when she collected a Shannon Goans pass and beat Holy Cross keeper Sony Kuhn for the 4-0 Eagle lead.
Welch tacked on both Holy Cross goals in the final 7:49 seconds on two unassisted efforts. The first came at the 62:11 mark on a backhander into the net, and the second tally came with just 26 seconds remaining after she gathered a rebound and blasted a shot for the 4-2 final.
Senior goalkeeper Sony Kuhn (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished the day with four saves for the Crusaders, while American goalie Allison Fayfich made two stops for the Eagles. American enjoyed a 16-5 shot advantage, 10 of which were on goal, and dominated with an 11-1 penalty corner advantage.
Three-time All-League selection Jenna Cook (Walpole, Mass.) finished her illustrious career as the all-time points (113) and all-time assists (29) leader in Holy Cross field hockey history. Her 113 career points also stand as third-best in League history. Additionally, Cook is also ranked second in program history (tied for fifth in League history) in career goals (42 goals) after her game-winning tally against Bucknell in yesterday's semifinal match.