WASHINGTON, D.C. - Freshman Natalie Carpenter scored late for the VMI Keydets, but the American Eagles held on for a 2-1 win over the Keydets in women's soccer action Thursday in Washington, D.C.
American (1-2) led from the 22nd minute on en route to its first win of the season, but the Keydets (1-2) put a scare into the Eagles late in Thursday's contest.
With VMI down 2-0, Carpenter capped a five-minute run of play controlled by VMI with her first collegiate goal at 89:28. The Keydets then threatened in the final moments, but AU keeper Amy Krotine was credited with a save on a shot by Blake Cashin with 10 seconds to go to preserve the 2-1 Eagle victory.
AU got goals from Toni Williams and Charly Slavick in the opening 37:47, and took a 2-0 lead to halftime. The second half saw the teams combine for just six shots on goal, three of which were taken by the Keydets in the final 5:17, but VMI could not overcome the first half deficit and fell, 2-1.
"American played well today, especially in the first half," said VMI head coach Chris Bergmann. "Credit to them for a well-played match, but we really fought back in the second half. I was proud of our heart, especially in the case of our freshmen so early in the ratline, and we nearly tied the game late. We look forward to taking lessons from today into Saturday's match against Saint Peter's."
For the match, American held a 13-11 edge in shots but VMI bested AU in corners, 4-3. Ceci Keppeler was credited with six saves for the Keydets, while Krotine stopped three VMI shots.
VMI women's soccer will return to action Saturday, when the Keydets take on the Saint Peter's Peacocks. Game time at Patchin Field is set for 1 p.m.