NORFOLK, Va. --Erin Huffman scored two goals to lead the 23rd-ranked Old Dominion field hockey team over No. 21 American, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex.
"One of our goals was to start strong again and have energy at the start of the game and we did that, which was great," said head coach Andrew Griffiths. "In the first half, we kind of established ourselves. Not perfect, but a lot of good patterns on the field."
Huffman scored both of her goals in the first half to help give Old Dominion (1-1) a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Her first score came in just the 4th minute of play to give ODU an early advantage, but American's (1-1) Kathryn Roncoroni answered in the 16th minute. However, Huffman again found the back of the cage in the 22nd minute to regain the lead for the Monarchs.
"The press starts our defense," said Huffman. "We have to get on our front foot and definitely put pressure on their outlets, so that they feel pressure and we can get a turnover and a counterattack."
In the second half, Danielle Grega extended the ODU lead to 3-1 with her first goal of the season in the 42nd minute. Alexa Ostoich, who assisted on both of Huffman's first-half goals, then quickly followed with her second goal of the season in the 47th minute to provide the Monarchs with a three-goal cushion. Carrie Sensenig assisted on Grega's score, while Julia Demeester fed Ostoich on her goal.
American's Roncoroni added her second goal of the game in the 49th to cut the lead back to two, but the ODU defense and goalkeeper Kealsie Robles proved to be too strong for the Eagle attack, as ODU held American scoreless for the final 21 minutes.
Robles played the full game in goal and finished with three saves.
"I was also pleased with our resilience throughout the game," said Griffiths. "We had a couple of lulls, but, overall, we wanted to win the transition game and I felt that we did that."
Next up, the Monarchs head to No. 19 James Madison on Wednesday at 6 p.m. for their first road game of the season.
FOLLOW ODU FIELD HOCKEY ON SOCIAL MEDIA Follow @ODUFieldHockey on Twitter and like ODU Field Hockey on Facebook for the latest updates.