Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Then-junior Andri Alexandersson moves the ball up field during an exhibition match last season. Hatchet File Photo

Then-junior Andri Alexandersson moves the ball up field during an exhibition match last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ellee Watson.

Men’s soccer emerged from a battle of attrition with its third consecutive win Tuesday, edging No. 22 Navy 2-1 in double overtime.

A foul in the 107th minute of play gave senior captain Andri Alexandersson a free kick and his first goal of the season. The ball arched over a wall of Midshipmen before clanging into the crossbar and redirecting into the back corner of the net.

The match was especially physical, with 36 fouls recorded by the end of the game. A yellow card by Navy junior P.J. Suess handed a free kick attempt to Alexandersson just minutes before the end of the double-overtime period.

“I told my teammates at full time that I would score for them,” Alexandersson said, adding that the Colonials had to “work their socks off” against the nationally ranked Navy team.

Navy came into the game ranked 12th in the nation in scoring offense with 2.40 goals per game and 7th in assists with 2.80 per game. Meanwhile, GW entered the match 24th and 17th in the nation with 2.0 goals and assists per game.

The Colonials, who lost to Navy 3-0 last season, held the Midshipmen to a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation.

While the Midshipmen had more scoring opportunities than the Colonials, outshooting GW 19-9 in the game, junior goalkeeper Jean-Pierre van der Merwe held Navy to just a single goal through 106 minutes of play. Van der Merwe recorded seven saves on the night.

The Colonials’ defensive stability Tuesday allowed the offense to combine passes and maintain possession, creating a rhythm but rarely leading to shots on goal.

In the last five minutes of the first half, the Colonials strung together passes to create an opportunity for sophomore Garrett Heine to score his third goal of the season.

Heine’s goal came in the 40th minute after junior forward Phillip McQuitty struck a well-placed cross on the ground that Navy goalie Mac Burke could not hold onto. Heine quickly placed the ball into the left corner of the goal, giving the Colonials a 1-0 lead at the game’s halfway point

The Midshipmen entered the second half looking for an equalizer. They didn’t waste any time, and in the 47th minute, tied the game after sophomore Thomas Shiba rocketed a ball past van Der Merwe to bring the score to 1-1.

GW played a physical game, totaling 21 fouls and receiving four yellow cards by the end of the match. McQuitty, freshman Alex Conning, sophomore Tobi Adewole and senior Matthew Scott all earned write-ups.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rob Bartnichak.

After a perfect 4-0 weekend at the Bison Invitational, two men’s water polo players received weekly honors from the Collegiate Water Polo Association on Tuesday.

Junior Bogdan Petkovic and freshman Pierce Deamer were named Southern Division Defensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively. It’s the first time Petkovic and Deamer have won those awards in their careers.

With Tuesday’s honors, Petkovic becomes the first male player ever to win all three CWPA weekly awards, said Ed Haas, CWPA’s director of communications.

Petkovic recorded a team-high 13 steals and three field blocks this past weekend, leading a Colonials team that outscored its opponents 58-20. He also added four goals and a team-leading eight assists on offense.

On the season, Petkovic has proven to be GW’s anchor on defense. He leads the Colonials with 19 steals, five blocks and 14 assists. Petkovic is also second on the team with 13 goals and 27 points.

Deamer led the Colonials on the offensive end, scoring a team-high nine goals, 13 points and six ejections drawn. The South Pasedena, Calif. native is third on the team with 20 points and fourth with 12 goals and eight assists.

GW returns to action this weekend, opening league play against Bucknell on Saturday at the Smith Center. The Colonials will then host No. 11 Princeton on Sunday.

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Freshman Aaliya Davidson spikes the match winning point over two Georgetown blockers. Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer

Freshman Aaliya Davidson spikes the match-winning point over two Georgetown blockers Tuesday. Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer

The volleyball team got back in the win column Tuesday with a straight-sets victory over Georgetown.

The win (25-22, 25-16, 25-6) snapped the Colonials two-game skid after they dropped back-to-back games to Baylor and Illinois State last weekend.

GW (7-3) controlled the majority of the match, and never trailed through three sets.

“When it came down to the game, we really focused on us and how we can work together and get the victory,” junior libero Maddy Doyle said. “Whether it was just keeping it simple or following the scouting report, it was nice.”

Head coach Amanda Ault said playing a mid-week match and regaining momentum would be crucial before GW heads to Valparaiso, Ind. for a tough three-game weekend, featuring two nine-win teams in Murray State and Valparaiso.

The Hoyas, who entered the match with a 6-3 record and as winners of four of their last five outings, were unable to create any opportunities on offense. By the end of the match, no player for the Hoyas had more than five kills. GW held Georgetown to a .000 hitting percentage as the Hoyas finished the match with 17 kills and 17 errors.

Junior Maddie Doyle celebrates with her team after scoring against Georgetown on Tuesday night in the Smith Center. The Colonials blanked the Hoyas 3-0 to register a 7-3 record in all competitions. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Junior Maddie Doyle celebrates with her team after scoring against Georgetown on Tuesday in the Smith Center. The Colonials blanked the Hoyas 3-0 to register a 7-3 record in all competitions. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Doyle, who led all players with a match high 15 digs, said for the veterans on the team, Tuesday’s match had a bit more intensity. Last season, Georgetown defeated the Colonials in straight sets.

“This is a big game for us. Georgetown is always personal and is an intense game no matter what,” Doyle said. “We kind of took it to another level and just tried to focus on our game.”

On the offensive end, GW got off to a bit of a slow start, finishing the first set hitting .108. Ault said the offense seemed uncomfortable, which led the fourth-year head coach to make a change at the setter position: Sophomore Emily Clemens finished the match for the Colonials in place of junior starter Jordan Timmer.

In the final two sets, GW dominated the pin, finishing the second set hitting .345 and the third set an errorless .667.

Leading the way for the Colonials was senior Kelsey Kelsey Newman and freshman Aaliyah Davidson. Both players finished Tuesday’s match with 11 kills, a career best for Davidson. Davidson, who started in place of sophomore Loren Williams, hit .556 in the match, leading all players.

“I felt I did well of taking care of passing and staying confident and calling the ball. I think I hit well today,” Davidson said.

Most importantly for Ault, the Colonials displayed a level of consistency in their match that she said was missing last weekend. The players effectively used serving, which had been mediocre for GW the past three games. Ault said the team reached its 1:1 ratio as it tallied eight service aces against eight service errors.

GW has three days to prepare for what arguably will be its toughest weekend of the season so far. The Colonials will play Sacramento State (4-7) on Friday, followed by a Saturday double-header against Murray State (9-0) and Valparaiso (10-1).

Ault and Doyle said the key to winning this weekend will be taking care of the ball on the Colonials’ side of the court and maintaining their style of play throughout the match.

“We need to focus on our game. A lot of the times, our head isn’t really where it should be. We’re kind of thinking of a hundred little things,” Doyle said. “We just need to focus on keeping the ball off the ground, playing our game and playing together.”

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Then-junior Ridvan Pehlivan hurls the ball to a teammate in a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

Then-junior Ridvan Pehlivan hurls the ball to a teammate in a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rob Bartnichak.

The men’s water polo team has found a rhythm in the pool.

After going 2-1 in their opening week of play, the Colonials returned to action this weekend at the Bison Invitational, winning all four of their matchups.

No. 20 GW defeated Mercyhurst 15-6, Penn State Behrend 16-2, Salem International 19-5 and Fordham 8-7. With the four victories, the Colonials improved to an overall record of 6-1.

“We were a lot more consistent this weekend than last weekend,” head coach Scott Reed said. “I would say there’s still a lot of work to do, but it’s a big improvement.”

Seniors Ridvan Pehlivan and Brian Mojica led the offense over the weekend, scoring eight and seven goals, respectively.

Though Pehlivan and Mojica stood out, nine different Colonials scored goals in both the Penn State Behrend and Salem International matchups. Sophomore Dennis Gut posted his first career hat trick against Salem International, and freshmen Ryan Michalko, Joe Behun and Noah McKinnie Braun all scored their first career goals.

GW outscored its opponents 58-20 this weekend, but Reed said he still sees room for improvement defensively.

“We tend to be a little slow when transitioning from pressure to zone defense,” Reed said. “We ran into problems against Fordham but started to sharpen up in the second half.”

After breaking into the top-20 national rankings this week, Reed said the team handled the pressure well.

“These guys have demonstrated so far that if we’re up or down they’re not going to back down,” Reed said. “They’re going to keep attacking, keep attacking when we need to be our best.”

Men’s water polo will open its home schedule this weekend against Bucknell on Saturday and then play No. 11 Princeton on Sunday.

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Junior setter Jordan Timmer prepares to pass the ball to her teammate in GW's match against Baylor on Friday. Timmer tallied 34 assists in the Colonials' three-set loss. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Junior setter Jordan Timmer prepares to pass the ball to her teammate in GW’s match against Baylor on Friday. Timmer tallied 34 assists in the Colonials’ three-set loss. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

It was an up-and-down day for the volleyball team Friday in the opening round of play of its second home tournament of the season, the Colonial Challenge.

After an early morning straight-sets win over Columbia (25-21, 25-19, 25-20), GW fell to Baylor in the second game of the double header in three sets (30-28, 25-23, 25-23).

A total of just six points separated GW (6-2) and Baylor through the three-set match, with two sets decided after the two teams tied at 23-23.

Baylor (7-2) was coming into Friday evening’s game fresh off a five-set victory over Illinois State. As of Sept. 7, the Bears were the ninth-best hitting team in the nation, averaging 14.76 kills per set. Despite the strength up front, GW head coach Amanda Ault said she anticipated some of Baylor’s offensive sets.

“We knew that they’re big and physical, but they’re predictable in the things they run,” Ault said. “We knew that they were going to do certain things, and we needed to make sure we were in front of them and able to control it and give ourselves the opportunity to put the ball down.”

Baylor finished the match with three players posting double figures in kills, led by redshirt freshman Katie Staiger, who tallied 13 kills on the night. The Bears hitters were consistent for most of Friday’s game and were aided by junior Amy Rosenbaum, who led all players with 39 assists.

“At the net, we needed to just get up and in front of them earlier,” Ault said. “I think a lot of times we were late, and so it just gave them an opportunity to see things a little bit more.”

The Colonials’ game plan heading into the match was to attack the Bears backline from the service line. But as a team, GW posted the highest total of service errors with 11 – and six of those errors came in the first set alone.

While poor serving may not have been the determining factor in Friday evening’s game, Ault said the timing of the unforced errors came just as the Colonials were trying to build momentum. After a 4-1 run late in the third set tied the third set 23-23, sophomore Natalie Leger lofted a ball over Baylor defenders, which eventually led to the Bears taking the set and match.

“We’d miss a serve after [Baylor] had missed the serve or we’d have a great play and then it would go back,” Ault said. “It was 23 all a couple times and we missed the serve. It’s those opportunities that we have to be mentally more tough.”

Even with the mental woes, GW had a higher hitting percentage than Baylor through two sets of play (.300 to .286) and won the digs battle 29-28, and both teams were tied in team blocks at 5-5. The Colonials found themselves contending late in each set despite trailing in the early going most of the match.

GW attacked the Baylor front line with a balanced attack. Five players finished with six kills, led by senior outside hitter Kelsey Newman, who paced the Colonials with 10. GW saw yet another strong performance from junior setter Jordan Timmer, who posted 34 assists for the Colonials. Junior libero Maddy Doyle led the team with 12 digs.

Ault said the rotation was communicating on the court, but the Colonials struggled to adjust to the game play of the Bears. Moving forward, the team will need to better translate strategy into plays, she said.

“We’ve got to make sure that our actions are speaking for us instead of our words,” Ault said. “Right now there’s a lot of talk going on, but we have to adapt.”

The Colonials have little time before their next challenge: a Saturday afternoon match against Illinois State (5-5), which will determine the second-place finisher.

Senior outside hitter Landon Garvik said the team must learn from – then let go of – Friday’s game to prepare for Illinois State.

“Individually, we can all play our game a little bit better and hopefully tomorrow will be different,” Garvik said.

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Star forward Jonquel Jones charges to the basket during a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

Star forward Jonquel Jones charges to the basket during a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

Women’s basketball will play at least 12 of last year’s postseason teams as part of its 27-game regular season schedule, the team announced Thursday.

The Colonials full schedule includes at least 11 non-conference games before a 16-game Atlantic 10 slate. Three of GW’s games will be broadcast on national television.

“We have a very demanding schedule this year with six non-conference opponents who played in the postseason last year, including four in the NCAA Tournament,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said in a release. “We always want our non-conference schedule to prepare us for the challenges of Atlantic 10 play, where every game is a battle.”

Before their regular season opener against Florida Gulf Coast University, the Colonials will play an exhibition game at home against Virginia Union on Nov. 9. The first official home game will be against Bowie State on Nov. 19.

Following Bowie State, 2014 Final Four team Maryland will come to the Smith Center on Nov. 22. It will be the second year in a row that GW has hosted a team coming off a Final Four run. Last November, the Colonials upset then-No. 10 California at home.

“The ability to have top-10 teams play in the Smith Center on a yearly basis is a great opportunity for our program,” Tsipis said. “We look forward to packing the arena for this game – and every game – like we did for the White Out against Cal last year.”

GW will take on at least 12 opponents that were ranked in the NCAA’s top 100 in RPI last season. The team will play Dayton (16) twice during A-10 play and N.C. State (18) in the opener of the Junkanoo Jam on Nov. 28. The Colonials could also face Purdue (9) in the Bahamas-based tournament.

An additional game could be added to the non-conference schedule in the coming weeks, according to the team release.

The conference schedule will open against the Flyers on Jan. 4, which will be broadcast on ESPNU. Then on Feb. 8, the Colonials will host Dayton at the Smith Center, a game that’s scheduled to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. The CBS Sports Network will also air GW’s road game at Massachusetts on Jan. 18.

A tough stretch of conference games for GW comes in mid-February, with three-straight match ups against teams that played in the postseason last year. The Colonials will host St. Bonaventure, which advanced to the second round of last year’s WNIT tournament, on Feb. 15 before heading to VCU, another WNIT team, on Feb. 18. On Feb. 21, GW will host Fordham, the defending A-10 champion.

The A-10 Championship will once again be held at the Richmond Coliseum, and will take place from March 4 to 8.

Nine letterwinners return from last year’s 23-11 team, the most successful season for GW in six years. The team posted an 11-5 record in A-10 play, and made it to the conference semifinals before ending the year in the third round of the WNIT – the program’s first postseason game since 2008. Five freshman have joined the team who will play alongside returners like A-10 All-Conference Second Team selection Jonquel Jones and A-10 Rookie of the Year Caira Washington.

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Then junior Brian Mojica prepares to block a shot on goal during a game last season. Hatchet FIle Photo

Then-junior Brian Mojica prepares to block a shot on goal during a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rob Bartnichak.

The Collegiate Water Polo Association named senior Brian Mojica the Southern Division Player of the Week on Monday after he led the men’s team to a 2-1 weekend, including an upset win over then-No. 12 St. Francis.

The award is the first weekly honor in Mojica’s career, and is the first Player of the Week award for a member of GW’s men’s water polo team since Jonah Dowd was named Player of the Week last October

Mojica led No. 20 GW with 14 goals, six assists and six steals during last weekend’s Princeton Invitational. He scored four goals in the second half of a comeback win over MIT on Saturday and followed with a four-goals and four-assist performance Sunday against St. Francis.

With the six assists this weekend, Mojica is now just five assists behind David Zenk’s (2005-08) all-time program record of 158.

The Colonials will play in the Bison Invitational this weekend, hosted by Bucknell. They are set to face Fordham, Salem International, Penn State-Behrend and Mercyhurst.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Mark Eisenhauer.

Lawmakers and lobbyists traded the halls of Congress for the Smith Center hardwood Monday for the 16th Annual Congressional Charity Basketball Game.

The team of congressmen took down the lobbyists for the third consecutive year, winning Monday’s game 46-40. GW men’s basketball head coach Mike Longergan coached the lobbyists, while Catholic University men’s basketball head coach Steve Howes skippered the congressmen.

Notable congressional team members included House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

“Any time you can foul a lobbyist, you do it,” Flake joked, then added, “It’s always nice to get on the court with your colleagues and these lobbyists who we deal with in other settings.”

With 14 points, Congress’ top scorer was Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fla., who captained the 1983-84 Big Ten Champions Purdue men’s basketball team and challenged President Barack Obama to a three-point contest earlier this year.

Men's basketball head coach Mike Lonergan, who served as the guest head coach for the lobbyist team, talks to his team during a timeout. Jordan Leon | Senior Staff Photographer

Men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan, who served as the guest head coach for the lobbyist team, talks to his team during a timeout. Jordan Leon | Senior Staff Photographer

Seventy-eight-year-old Jim Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus Association, sunk one of the more exciting three pointers for the lobbyists, while Danny Leonard of The Leonard Group scored a team-high eight points.

The game had a cordial intensity and close score throughout, but the congressional team was able to maintain a lead for almost all 40 minutes, winning by six points.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to do something good,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan. “We have a great time, and it most importantly helps kids in a tough situation.”

Paul Miller, chairman of the Hoops For Youth Foundation, said the charity was created 16 years ago “in a bi-partisan way to help raise money and awareness for at-risk kids living in our community.”

Lonergan was mostly light-hearted on the bench with his team, but with the score close near the end of the game, he showed some competitive fire, calling time outs and gesturing enthusiastically in the huddle. This was Lonergan’s third year coaching the lobbyists and his third loss as the team’s coach.

“I like to win, and the congressmen usually win, so I was hoping they would give me them this year,” Lonergan joked. “The congressmen are in better shape than our team – I think they have too much free time on their hands.”

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Junior Forward Jonny Forest shoots a penalty kick to level the game early in the second half against Harvard. Forest capitalized after a handball in the Crimson's penalty box, and scored late in the game to secure the Colonials 2-1 victory. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Junior forward Jonny Forest shoots a penalty kick to level the game early in the second half against Harvard. Forest capitalized after a handball in the Crimson’s penalty box, and scored late in the game to secure the Colonials 2-1 victory. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Mark Eisenhauer.

It took a stroke of luck, one good through ball and expert goaltending, but men’s soccer pulled out a 2-1 win against Harvard in the team’s home opener Sunday.

Harvard (0-2) dominated the game on paper, outshooting GW 21-8 while taking nine more corners than the Colonials, but two goals from junior forward Jonny Forrest propelled GW to victory and put the team in the black with a 2-1-0 record on the season.

The Colonials, mimicking their previous game, started out flat with few scoring chances in the first half, only registering two shots on goal. Junior goalkeeper Jean-Pierre van der Merwe kept GW in the game, stopping all seven of Harvard’s shots on goal before halftime.

“It was our home opener, and we wanted to come out strong,” head coach Craig Jones said. “Unfortunately, we came out in the first five minutes, played OK, and then fell into a little bit of a funk and stopped passing the ball. It’s difficult to break that, but we got the win, which is what matters.”

Coming out of halftime with the score knotted at zero, that “funk” showed no signs of ending for the Colonials, as Harvard came out even stronger than it had in the first half.

A deflection off a corner kick placed the ball right at the feet of the Crimson’s Kyle Henderson at the top of the box, and the senior ripped a shot past van der Merwe in the 51st minute.

The goal served as a wakeup call for the Colonials, who played with more intensity once they fell behind. GW’s passing became more precise, and better communication led to more opportunities for the Colonials, pushing Harvard back on its heels.

“We kept the ball better [in the second half],” Jones said. “When we try to put passes together and get a little possession, that’s when we look like we can create chances. It started on the right side with Garrett [Heine] and Tobi [Adewole], and it had a little bit of a domino effect.”

Eventually, one domino pushed a good ball down the left wing, earning GW a corner kick in the 59th minute. An errant Harvard hand made contact with the ball when the corner was delivered in the box, giving the Colonials a penalty kick.

With the momentum shifted, GW capitalized. Forrest confidently tucked the penalty ball away in the bottom right corner to tie the game.

Both teams continued to battle with the score tied. While both sides traded chances, Harvard seemed like the team that was pressing harder. In the 84th minute, Harvard had possession and numbers in the GW box, but lost the ball when a Colonials defender cleared it.

msoccer_Harvard2_CL

Freshman Oliver Curry attempts to dribble past a Harvard defender. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

In transition, junior Philip McQuitty raced down the field with possession and placed a through ball in position for Forrest, who sent it past the Harvard keeper for the game-winning goal. McQuitty had shook off defenders all game with his daunting 6-foot-5 frame.

“Phil played amazing again today. I wouldn’t have scored the goal if it wasn’t for him, he won almost every single header in the air,” Forrest said.

The goal made Forrest the sole leading scorer for the Colonials with three goals on the season.

With just minutes left to play, van der Merwe made a few more key stops against an unrelenting Harvard offense, rounding out his total to 10 saves on the day.

“[When you’re playing like that in the first half] you have to take the chances you can get, and when you’re under pressure, take some inspiration from the keeper, who was incredible today,” Forrest said. “Some of the saves [van der Merwe] made were just awesome.”

Jones said van der Merwe was playing through heavy traffic and taking contact, and Jones thought the game was the goalie’s best at GW.

The Colonials have an extended break before they travel Sept. 16 to Annapolis, Md. to take on Navy.

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Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 6:27 p.m.

GW names head coach for women’s lacrosse

Then freshman Olivia Boudreau attempts to run past a Bucknell player last season. Hatchet File Photo

Then-freshman Olivia Boudreau tried to run past a Bucknell player last season. Hatchet File Photo

The women’s lacrosse team has a new head coach.

Athletic Director Patrick Nero announced Monday that Tracy Coyne will assume the position after former coach Tara Hannaford left the program for personal reasons in early August.

Coyne, who was the 2006 NCAA Division I Coach of the Year, brings 25 years of coaching experience to GW, including 265 career wins, which ranks 11th all-time among women coaches in the NCAA.

“Her passion for the sport, reputation and history of winning makes her a great fit for GW, and we are very fortunate to employ her services,” Nero said in a release.

Coyne joins the Colonials after a season serving as the assistant coach at Dartmouth College and head coach at Washington and Jefferson College in 2013. Coyne also spent a season as an assistant coach at Duquesne in 2012

Coyne, who will be the lacrosse team’s fourth head coach in the program’s 14-year history, is best known for her time at Notre Dame, where she coached 15 seasons. Taking control of the Fighting Irish’s program at its inception in 1996, Coyne transformed the team into a national contender. During her fifteen years in South Bend, she amassed a Big East Conference Championship in 2009, two NCAA Championship Quarterfinal appearances and a trip to the Final Four. Coyne was also named Big East Coach of the Year three times (2004, 2006 and 2008) while at Notre Dame.

She spent two seasons as the head coach at Denison University from 1987-89, and seven years as head coach at Roanoke College.

Coyne also served as the head coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team from 1999-2005.

GW went 7-9 last season, missing the playoffs after two consecutive postseason appearances in 2012 and 2013.

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