Your Guide to GW sports

Sophomore Angel Valencia dribbles the ball past two JMU defenders earlier this season. Valencia scored the Colonials fourth goal against Howard. Hatchet File Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Sophomore Angel Valencia dribbles the ball past two JMU defenders earlier this season. Valencia scored the Colonials fourth goal in GW’s win over Howard. Hatchet File Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Mark Eisenhauer.

The men’s soccer team’s match Sunday against District rival Howard University was a tale of two halves.

After a sluggish start that put them down 1-0 going into the second half, the Colonials scored four unanswered goals to win their second and final match of the Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup by a 4-1 margin.

Both teams had come off losses: GW fell 2-0 to American on Friday, while Howard was demolished 7-0 by George Mason in the team’s season opener. When the game began, the Colonials failed to show renewed energy to perform better on the field.

“I think we came out a little flat. [Howard] wanted it a little more than us, in terms of first and second balls. We just couldn’t really get out of that funk,” head coach Craig Jones said.

GW created some opportunities in the first half, spurred by laser sharp passing from junior Jonny Forrest and sophomore Angel Valencia, but they were unable to capitalize.

Then, in the 27th minute, Howard freshman Austin Williams got the ball at the top of the box and blasted it past GW’s starting goalie, junior Jean-Pierre van der Merwe, who was slightly screened on the shot. Despite a few more chances on the opposite end of the field, the Colonials remained down a goal going into halftime.

“[At halftime] I just told [the team] to keep believing in themselves and fight for each other and the results will come,” senior co-captain Andri Alexandersson said.

And they did come in the second half when, after countless chances, the offense finally broke through. In the 63rd minute, Forrest tied the game off a header of a cross from sophomore Spiros Tsakos, who just 14 minutes before had received a yellow card.

Forrest, one of the Colonials top offensive weapons, saw limited playing time Friday because of a leg injury, but received more time against Howard.

Forrest started the game up top along with Valencia. Junior Ross Higgins, senior Farhan Khan, junior Oliver De Thier and freshman Christian Lawal started in the midfield and sophomore Miles Mclearn, Alexandersson and freshman Ismail Lapp-Kamara started on the backline.

“The response and second half performance from the whole group was key. Today we had almost a totally different line-up from Friday, so again we are going to have to use the whole squad in order to be successful this year,” Jones said.

More members of that squad continued to yield results when sophomore Garrett Heine tucked away a ball rebounding off the Howard keeper from a powerful shot from outside the box by Lawal.

“As soon as we got that first goal, we put a lot of pressure on [Howard],” Alexandersson said.

A ball trickled to the top of the box in the 73rd minute, and senior Khan struck it for a third goal. Valencia received a through ball and was able to dribble around the Howard keeper, putting away the team’s fourth and final goal.

“Getting the first win of the season is always great, especially this early. We’ve just got to keep going and keep our spirits high for next weekend,” Alexandersson said.

The Colonials are now 1-1 on the season and will host Harvard University in their home opener Sunday.

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The volleyball's bench cheers after winning a point over Auburn on Friday. Hatchet File Photo by Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The volleyball team’s bench cheers after winning a point over Auburn on Friday. Hatchet File Photo by Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Alex Kist

The volleyball team continued its impressive start to the season Saturday with a dominant straight-sets victory (25-20, 25-17, 25-20) against North Dakota.

With that win, the Colonials wrap up their host tournament 3-0 and without losing a single set (9-0).

GW overpowered North Dakota for most of the game, displaying an intensity that had carried through each match during the weekend.

The Colonials jumped out in front against North Dakota (1-2) in the first set, commanding a six-point lead. Junior middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu and senior Kelsey Newman both totaled five kills apiece, and junior libero Maddy Doyle totaled 10 digs for GW, which never trailed in the set.

Newman and Osuchukwu finished with 17 and 13 kills, respectively. Sophomore Loren Williams finished the game with 14 kills of her own. GW hitters were cleanly assisted once again by junior setter Jordan Timmer, who led all players with a career-high 47 assists in the game.

“Our team mentality going into the first set was to go out with a lot of energy, be better than we were last night and hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Osuchukwu said. “We wanted to come out and not get complacent.”

The Colonials were able to maintain a good rhythm on the offensive end, but also displayed their defensive strength once again against North Dakota. GW out-blocked their rivals 7-6 and won the digs battle by totaling a notable 85 digs to North Dakota’s 60. Five GW players finished the match in double figures in digs, led by Doyle’s game-high 22 digs. So far this season, the Colonials have emphasized stopping opponents on the pin.

“[Blocking] is a really important part to our strategy,” Newman said. “Going into a game, we pick out a few girls that have certain strengths or hit in specific ways to take on that role. Most teams have that go-to player, so it is really important for us to shut her down.”

GW held North Dakota to a .105 hitting percentage. After ending its two previous invitational games with at least two players in double figures in kills, no North Dakota player reached double figures Saturday.

In the third set, GW was not as fast to pull away from North Dakota. Miscommunication contributed to the team’s slow start, which at one point resulted in two Colonials diving and missing a ball.

With GW trailing 7-3 early in the third set, the team found itself in a bit of uncharted territory compared to the other sets in the game – and other sets the entire weekend.

“Our strategy has been not to panic when we’re down,” Osuchukwu said. “Even when we were down, we knew we just needed to fix a few things and everything was going to change. It was important for us to stay calm and trust each other that we are going to be able to fix the problems that we’re making.”

GW would immediately begin to mount a comeback after Ault called a time out. An 8-2 Colonials run both erased the deficit and propelled them in front of North Dakota.

“At the timeout, we talked about the miscommunication,” Ault said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re making it easier on the next person who is going to play that ball, easier in general just knowing what’s going on. We need to make sure we are connecting with the person next to us out on the floor.”

The Colonials face the Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico in an exhibition game Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Game note: Newman, Osuchukwu and Timmer were all named to the Invitational All-Tournament team, with Osuchukwu earning tournament MVP.

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Sophomore Chidima Osuchukwu elevates to hit a ball past Auburn defenders. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Sophomore Chidima Osuchukwu elevates to hit a ball past Auburn defenders. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Alex Kist.

Coming off a straight-sets sweep of Arkansas State in its season opener Friday morning, women’s volleyball carried the momentum into an evening match, handling Auburn in straight sets (25-13, 25-18, 25-20) at the GW Invitational.

Head coach Amanda Ault said she used notes from the team’s Friday morning performance to focus the squad’s afternoon practice, drilling specific skills she felt needed improvement before heading into the day’s second game.

“I think this morning was good to see where we are and see what we need to work on,” Ault said. “It showed us a couple things. Our serving fell off this morning, so we knew we had to clean that up a bit and we did because that played big for us tonight, with Auburn and getting them out of system.”

Auburn, which went 19-11 last season out of the Southeastern Conference, came into the Smith Center with a roster that included six freshmen. But that wouldn’t mean the adjustments Ault expected from her team could take a back seat as the Tigers, like the Colonials, also won their morning match.

GW (2-0) beat Auburn (1-1) on the defensive end by out-blocking the Tigers 12-2 and winning the digs battle 47-44. The Colonials were all over the net, led by sophomore Chidima Osuchukwu and junior Maggie Skjelbred. Both Osuchukwu and Skjelbred totaled two solo blocks each while adding two and five block assists, respectively. Junior Landon Garvik also added four block assists for GW. By the end of the game, Auburn hit a lackluster .082 for the match.

“We came into this game with one mission, and that was to take care of Auburn,” said junior libero Maddy Doyle, who led all players with 21 digs. “We weren’t thinking of the next game, the game before or anything like that. We were focused on beating Auburn and playing together as a team.”

Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The volleyball team celebrates a point against Auburn. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The strong Colonials presence on the defensive end caused many mistakes for the Tigers. Auburn totaled twice as many attack errors on the pin than GW, finishing the game with 24.

On the Colonials side of the ball, GW was able to find holes in the Tigers defense throughout the game. Osuchukwu, as well as sophomore Loren Williams and senior Kelsey Newman, each totaled nine kills. As a team, the Colonials hit .265 on the night.

GW hitters found success at the net thanks to the consistent sets of junior setter Jordan Timmer. Timmer, who started both games for the Colonials, totaled a game-high 30 assists on the night.

After taking the first two sets convincingly, Auburn would put up a stronger fight in the game’s third set. The Tigers would lead by as much as three points, but the Colonials, with a strong Smith Center crowd, were able to clamp down defensively and finish the game on a 15-7 run.

“Their goals that they have for the season are high, and I think this weekend, so far, has proven that they mean business,” Ault said.

Doyle described the game as “passionate,” and said the victory would have been impossible without a cohesive team.

“The communication and excitement was great, even from the bench,” Doyle said. “I’m yelling as loud as I can on the court, but then I turn around and I see my teammates on the ground. That is such a great feeling, knowing that we’re being supported. Everyone was moving after every play, everyone was going, all cylinders were going and it was really great to be a part of it all.”

The Colonials host North Dakota at 3 p.m. Saturday in their final game of the GW Invitational.

-Sean Hurd contributed to this report

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Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against an Old Dominion player on Aug. 24. Hatchet File Photo

Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against an Old Dominion player Aug. 24. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Darius Kamshad.

Women’s soccer started a busy weekend with a 3-0 victory Friday over Loyola Maryland, once again demonstrating strong defense and timely execution on offense.

The win improves GW’s record to 3-0, marking the first time the Colonials have started the season 3-0 since 2007.

Loyola (1-2) challenged GW in the first half, pressuring the Colonials defense at multiple times. Loyola forward Charlotte Miller was particularly aggressive, firing all three of her attempted shots all in the first half. In total, Loyola took six shots against the GW defense in the first half. The Colonials, on the other hand, were limited to just two shot attempts.

“I think we started off a little slow in the first half, but then they did a pretty good job of being organized in the second,” head coach Sarah Barnes said. “I think the difference in the halves and ultimately the result is that we did a better job of passing the ball, and that movement really broke them down and gave us opportunities to penetrate.”

The Colonials came into the second half with a different attitude, Barnes said. Within four minutes, they had an impressive shot on goal from senior forward Meg Murphy and were dominating possession of the ball.

GW was able to find the back of the net in the 57th minute after Murphy connected on a cross from freshman midfielder Ingrid di Clemente, which was initially redirected by sophomore forward MacKenzie Cowley before ricocheting off Murphy into the Loyola goal. Murphy’s goal was the second of what looks to be a promising season for the senior.

“She’s been great and she has been looking good in training,” Barnes said. “Every game seems to be better than the one before. Her effort has been really excellent.”

Just 10 minutes later, in the 66th minute, midfielder Nicole Belfonti clinched her first score of the season on an unassisted goal to put the Colonials up 2-0.

Junior midfielder Kristi Abbate made the final goal for GW in the 78th minute of the game, scoring on the Loyola goalkeeper after an assist from freshman Brittany Cooper. Abbate now has two goals on the year.

Three goals was more than enough for goalkeeper Miranda Horn, who earned her third win in front of the net after posting another scoreless performance for the Colonials. The redshirt freshman tallied three saves in the shutout effort.

Barnes has been able to rotate players in, keeping the team fresh, thanks to GW’s demonstrated depth early in the season. It’s a strategy that Barnes says the Colonials will need Sunday when they play William & Mary, a team that defeated Atlantic 10 conference member George Mason in its season opener.

“It’s going to be pretty challenging for us, so we’re really excited for that,” Barnes said. “We’ve got a lot of players that we can play and we can keep the level up.”

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Freshman defender Christian Lawal tries to strike a ball past Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Freshman defender Christian Lawal tries to strike a ball past American’s Conor Osborne. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ellee Watson.

Last year, the men’s soccer team opened the season with a 3-1 loss to a veteran American squad. Heading into the season opener Friday, the Eagles seemed likely to be a bit green, listing 14 freshmen on their roster.

But when the ball hit the turf at Reeves Field in the opening game of the Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup, it was the Colonials who looked like they had never played together, dropping the game 2-0 after American scored two goals in the final 20 minutes.

“We didn’t capitalize. We played in a way I haven’t seen us play before,” head coach Craig Jones said. “When that happens, everything you plan for goes out the window.”

The Eagles set the standard for intensity: During the opening seconds, an American midfielder chased the kickoff and nailed the left back. Together, the two teams racked up 17 fouls.

The Colonials rotated offensively between juniors Ross Higgins and Phillip McQuitty, who started up top, sophomores Garrett Heine and Angel Valencia and junior Jonny Forrest, but GW could not find a groove. Though neither team had any memorable combination pieces in the first half, the Colonials didn’t see any legitimate scoring chances off long balls played for Higgins to run onto, taken away by the speed of the American defense.

GW settled what seemed to be season-opening nerves in the second half, playing the ball on the ground, stringing together passes and creating crosses, but still failed to find the back of the net. The Eagles outshot the Colonials 10-5 by the end of the game.

Junior goalkeeper Jean-Pierre van der Merwe, in his first regular season start after starting all three preseason games, protected the goal through the first 70 minutes. Van der Merwe made a save and a few pivotal grabs, but the post also rescued him from giving up a goal three times.

Eventually, the Eagles broke through, and they didn’t look back. After 73 minutes, American sophomore Joe Iraelo shot from the left side of the box eight yards from the net into the lower right, out of van der Merwe’s reach. Ten minutes later, junior Liam Robley bent a set piece into the right side of the net. Van der Merwe followed the initial trajectory toward the left side.

The Colonials were unable to mount a comeback, especially with the loss of senior Matthew Scott, who was given a yellow card and taken off the field with an injury substitution with nine minutes remaining. Officials also dealt Heine a yellow card in the game.

GW suffered from limited play from Forrest, who did not start because of tightness in his legs. Jones said that Forrest, who ranked second on the team with three goals last season, had practiced well up to the game but seemed best fit to come off the bench in the second half.

“We thought the timing was right,” Jones said. “He is going to get more minutes, but for today’s game, we thought we were better suited with how the guys have been doing in the 11 that we started.”

Other notable substitutions included freshmen Ismail Lapp-Kamara and Christian Lawal, who ended the first half and started the second half at left-back and right-midfield, respectively.

“We’re disappointed with the loss,” Jones said. “Unfortunately, I just didn’t think we played like we could. If we can play like we can, we’ll do well.”

The Colonials finish out the Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup on Sunday at noon in a game against Howard University.

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Then-sophomore guard Joe McDonald drives toward the basket against Radford last season. Hatchet File Photo

Then-sophomore guard Joe McDonald drives toward the basket against Radford last season. Hatchet File Photo

The men’s basketball team will make at least 14 appearances on national television this season, including six at home, the athletics department announced Wednesday.

GW’s record 14 national appearances is a three-game improvement from last season when the Colonials were featured in 11 nationally televised games. Three of GW’s home games will be broadcast on ESPN networks, which will be the first time ESPN has broadcast a Colonials’ home game since the 2006-07 season.

The first broadcast from home will be Jan. 15 on ESPNU, when the Colonials host Richmond’s Spiders.

On Feb. 6, ESPN will broadcast GW’s home game against Dayton and just a week later ESPN2 will give GW its final home-court broadcast on Feb. 14, when GW hosts VCU in a Valentine’s Day matchup.

The remaining ESPN broadcasts include three away games when GW jumps into the Diamond Head Classic from Dec. 22 to 25.

Another eight GW conference games, split evenly, will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network.

In addition to the national attention, the department expects at least 20 of the Colonials’ 31 regular season games will land on regional broadcasts.

“This is phenomenal exposure for our university, men’s basketball program and athletic department,” Athletic Director Patrick Nero said in a release. “Our team and the Colonial Army have worked hard to raise the level of GW basketball, and I am happy to see their accomplishments being recognized.”

After going 24-9 last season (14-1 at home), head coach Mike Lonergan will look to build on last year’s success.

“Our students, fans, campus community, alumni, players and recruits all rally around national TV games, so to have at least 14 of them, including three home games on the ESPN Networks, is going to make this an exciting season in Foggy Bottom and at the Charles E. Smith Center,” Lonergan said.

Overall, the Atlantic 10 set a new conference record with 75 nationally televised games for the season.

GW’s full A-10 schedule:
Saturday, Jan. 3 at Saint Joseph’s – TBD – CBSSN
Tuesday, Jan. 6 vs. Saint Louis – TBD – CBSSN
Saturday, Jan. 10 at La Salle – 12:30 p.m. – NBCSN
Thursday, Jan. 15 vs. Richmond – TBD – ESPNU
Saturday, Jan. 17 vs. George Mason – 4:30 p.m. – NBCSN
Thursday, Jan. 22 at Fordham – 7 p.m. – NBCSN
Saturday, Jan. 24 vs. Duquesne – TBD
Tuesday, Jan. 27 at VCU – TBD – CBSSN
Saturday, January 31 at Rhode Island – TBD
Friday, Feb. 6 vs. Dayton – TBD – ESPN2
Wednesday, Feb. 11 at Duquesne – 7 p.m. – A-10 Network/SNY
Saturday, Feb. 14 vs. VCU – TBD – ESPN2
Wednesday, February 18 vs. Davidson – TBD
Saturday, Feb. 21 at Richmond – TBD – CBSSN
Wednesday, Feb. 25 vs. St. Bonaventure – TBD
Saturday, February 28 at Davidson – TBD
Wednesday, March 4 at George Mason – 7 p.m. – A-10 Network/SNY
Saturday, March 7 vs. Massachusetts – 3:30 p.m. – NBCSN

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Scott Nover.

Freshman goalkeeper Miranda Horn earned Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors following two shut-out performances over the weekend. Her efforts helped GW begin the season 2-0 for the first time since 2007.

Horn started in the goal Friday and played 61 shut-out minutes in the Colonials’ season-opening 6-0 rout of Mount St. Mary’s. She made three saves in the game, including a leaping grab in the first half to deny the visiting Mountaineers a goal.

The Canadian-born red-shirt freshman also protected the posts throughout Sunday’s overtime defeat of Old Dominion, thwarting five attempts on goal over 91.41 minutes of play, including three saves in the game’s second half.

Horn’s set of clean sheets brings more than conference honors back to GW, a team that suffered the loss of star goalkeeper Nicole Ulrik to graduation last May and began the season with questions about who would take over in the net.

The Colonials’ non-conference schedule continues Friday with GW’s first road game of the season. They will travel to Baltimore to take on Loyola of Maryland before coming back home to host William and Mary on Sunday.

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Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against an Old Dominion player. Cameron Lancaster |  Photo Editor

Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against Old Dominion midfielder Devin Dougherty. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Scott Nover

After an easy 6-0 victory against Mount St. Mary’s in its season opener, the women’s soccer team needed extra time Sunday to finish off Old Dominion, escaping with a 1-0 win.

GW forward Kyla Ridley scored the game-winning goal at the beginning of overtime, canceling out the underwhelming ninety minutes of regular time and giving the Colonials the edge over the visiting Monarchs.

While the Colonials tried to control a high-intensity passing game, their efforts were consistently thwarted by mistakes in the midfield. Luckily for GW, the defense, headlined by senior co-captain Alex Brothers, was ruthless in clearing out the box. Redshirt freshman Miranda Horn shutout ODU in front of the net, amounting five saves in just under 92 minutes of action.

The Monarchs outshot the Colonials 5-2 in the opening half, with two ODU shots hitting on target. Monarchs goalkeeper Erin Kinz saw no action between the posts from the Colonials offense during the first half.

“I thought our movement wasn’t good enough,” head coach Sarah Barnes said. “It wasn’t fast enough, we didn’t change direction and change speed fast enough, so I think we were pretty predictable because of that and it made it easy for them to mark us. I think they did a good job defensively to close gaps, but we didn’t do enough work and we didn’t think fast enough and smart enough to really open things up. I think that was the biggest problem.”

The second half saw far fewer errors in the midfield and better ball movement to aid the attack. Junior midfielder Brooke Bean led GW in stopping the ODU charge and redirecting play ahead of her.

Though GW was unable to find the back of the net in the second half, the Colonials’ offense gained momentum and was able to create more chances. At the end of the second half, with overtime approaching, Barnes told her team that aggressive play was key to taking the game.

“I think we had been creating better chances and so our thought process was, right away, we have to be aggressive, move the ball forward, and see if we can be dangerous right from the start,” Barnes said. A lot of the time, these overtime games get one really early or they go to the end. So I thought they did a really good job of just keeping the momentum going.

As per NCAA rules, after the two sides ended the second half in a 0-0 score, the game entered a golden goal overtime scenario.

The Colonials needed less than two minutes before Ridley drove a shot into the box, which curled into the top left corner of the goal to give GW its second-straight victory of the season.

“I thought it was nice,” Ridley said. “I just took it with my left foot and just sort of bent it around and put it to goal. And I was like, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t expect that really with my left foot, but it went in.”

The Colonials play their next game on the road Friday against Loyola University Maryland.

Game Note: Freshman defender Danielle Snajder limped off the field with an apparent leg injury. Barnes said Snajder appeared in good shape, but had yet to check with the trainer following the match.

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Freshman midfielder Camille Roberts dribbles past defenders during Friday evening's game against Mount St. Mary's. She would go on to score the Colonials' sixth and final goal of the game. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Freshman midfielder Camille Roberts dribbles past defenders during Friday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s. She would go on to score the Colonials’ sixth and final goal of the game. Samuel Klein | Senior Photo Editor

Midway through the second half of the women’s soccer team’s regular season opener Friday against Mount St. Mary’s, the athletic department staff running the PA system at the GW Soccer Field started to get nervous about the game’s score.

The reason? They were running out of songs to play to celebrate Colonial goals.

While it may not have been against the strongest competition, as the Northeast Conference Preseason poll placed the Knights ninth overall, GW burst out of the gate early and coasted to a 6-0 rout of the Mount.

The six goals were their highest goal count in a game since 2006.

The Colonials, who averaged 1.11 goals per game last season, had six different players find the back of the net. The most notable scorer was junior Kristi Abbate who, after a strong freshman campaign, slumped without a goal as a sophomore last season.

Up 1-0 off an early goal from junior forward Kyla Ridley, Abbate sliced through a trio of Mount defenders, tapped the ball to the right corner of the net and ran toward a sea of high fives and hugs. She stopped just for a subtle shimmy of her shoulders in celebration.

“Compared to last year, it was so relieving to finally get [a goal] in,” Abbate said. “I felt 10 pounds lighter after I scored it. It was a great feeling.”

Looking to improve upon a 4-10-3 season last year, the Mount found some success early on by forcing GW turnovers, but the Knights couldn’t generate any offense of their own.

“They were pinning us in and turning us over,” head coach Sarah Barnes said. “So the good news for us is that we’ve been through that before and we haven’t always been able to figure it out quick enough to turn the game around and get the momentum. I think that’s what we did today.”

GW adjusted quickly, outshooting the Mount 14-4 in the first half. By the end of the game, that figure grew to 27-5.

It was a clear departure from last season’s 0-0 tie between the two teams. While the Colonials outshot the Mount 19-8 in that game, they struggled to finish at the net.

“Obviously seeing six different people score for us is huge given that that is an area – and it is the hardest part of the game – but that was an area for us that can be really challenging and has been for a couple years,” Barnes said. “Being able to see that a number of different people can do it in a game when they get their chance is really exciting,”

The best chance for the Mount came with nine minutes remaining in the first half. Defender Geanna Donnelly shot the ball at the center of the goal, just below the bar, but a leaping Miranda Horn preserved the shutout with a save by the tips of her outstretched fingers.

Horn, who Barnes confirmed after the game is the team’s starting goalie, was replaced in the net by junior Ellen Conway early in the second half after recording three saves over 60 minutes. Conway made one save in 30 minutes.

In the 64th minute, senior Meg Murphy sent a header off a cross from freshman Annika Johnson into the left side. Later, in the 84th minute, freshman Brittany Cooper, who took a game-high five shots equaling last season’s single game goals record, scored GW’s fifth goal.

The sixth and final Colonials goal was tallied by redshirt freshman Camille Roberts, whose tap of a loose ball into the bottom corner of the net came just two minutes after Cooper.

“I think it means a lot, just showing us what we have and how many goal scorers we can have this year,” Ridley said.

The Colonials started seniors Alex Brothers, MacKenzie McIndoe, Madison Davis and Taylor Katz, juniors Brooke Bean, Abbate and Ridley, redshirt junior Nicole Belfonti, sophomore Lina Proska, freshman Danielle Snajder and redshirt freshman Horn in their first official contest.

By the end of the game, 25 Colonials had taken the field, each playing at least 15 minutes.

“I think you saw that we have a lot of people who give us depth,” Barnes said. “We thought that was the case during preseason but until you start playing other people, you don’t really know for sure.”

The Colonials have a quick turnaround before their next contest, a 12 p.m. home game against Old Dominion on Sunday. GW beat the Lady Monarchs 2-1 on the road last season in a distinctly physical match.

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Head coach Mike Lonergan talks to the men's basketball team during the A-10 Tournament last season. Hatchet File Photo

Head coach Mike Lonergan talks to the men’s basketball team during the A-10 Tournament last season. Hatchet File Photo

The men’s basketball team released the final five games of its non-conference schedule Tuesday, announcing matchups against Grambling State, Longwood, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Charlotte and the Virginia Military Institute, all to be played at the Smith Center.

The Colonials will play 13 non-conference games between Nov. 8 and Dec. 30, including the first games of five home-and-home series against teams from the ACC, Big Ten and Big East. GW will play 31 games total during the 2014-15 regular season.

The full schedule has yet to be revealed, but the Colonials have now announced the entire list of opponents after the A-10 pairings were released in May.

GW could see as many as 15 postseason teams throughout the regular season, depending on the results of the Diamond Head Classic. As many as seven of those potential opponents could come from outside A-10 play.

One of the toughest tests of the season for the Colonials will likely come Nov. 21 against ACC Champion Virginia. The game is the first of a home-and-home agreement between the two schools, and could prove a boost to the Colonials strength-of-schedule if they can hold their own against the 2014 Sweet 16 team.

The matchup against Virginia is one of 10 games against opponents from Maryland or Virginia, and one of four in the non-conference slate along with Longwood on Nov. 26, UMBC on Dec. 4 and VMI on Dec. 30 in the non-conference closer.

The Colonials will also stay close to home at the Verizon Center in the BB&T Classic on Dec. 7, when they will take on Charlotte as part of the double header also featuring a game between Georgetown and Towson.

Then-sophomore guard Joe McDonald drives toward the basket against Radford last season. Hatchet File Photo by Delaney Walsh | Photo Editor

Then-sophomore guard Joe McDonald drives toward the basket against Radford last season. Hatchet File Photo by Delaney Walsh | Photo Editor

Outside the D.C. area, the team will head to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic from Dec. 22 to 25.

The eight-team tournament field includes Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio and Wichita State, a team that, along with GW, finished the 2013-14 season ranked in the RPI Top 100 and played in the postseason. Host Hawaii, Loyola Marymount and Big East quarterfinalist DePaul, which the Colonials will host at the Smith Center on Dec. 11, round out the field.

The Colonials will see another Big East team in Seton Hall on the road Nov. 29. The Pirates finished last season an even 17-17 with a 10-8 home record, and will return four of their top seven scorers from 2013-14.

More power conference matchups come with two away games against Big Ten teams in Rutgers on Nov. 16 and Penn State on Dec. 14.

The Scarlet Knights will return three starters from last season’s team, which lost to the Colonials 93-87 at the Smith Center last season. The Nittany Lions ended the 2013-14 season in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational after sweeping powerhouse Ohio State during the regular season.

GW will unofficially begin the season at home with an exhibition game against Bloomsburg (Division II). The Colonials were unforgiving hosts last season with a 15-1 home record, but Huskies head coach John Sanow will have at least one friendly face in The Smith Center: head coach Mike Lonergan, whom he assisted when Lonergan was head coach at Vermont.

The season will open officially six days later when the Colonials host Grambling State on Nov. 14.

GW’s non-conference schedule is listed below:

11/8/2014 vs. Bloomsburg (Exhibition)

11/14/2014 vs. Grambling State

11/16/2014 at Rutgers

11/21/2014 at Virginia

11/26/2014 vs. Longwood

11/29/2014 at Seton Hall

12/4/2014 vs. UMBC

12/7/2014 vs. Charlotte (BB&T Classic)

12/11/2014 vs. DePaul

12/14/2014 at Penn State

12/22-25/2014 Diamond Head Classic

12/30/2014 – VMI

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