This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sophia Omuemu
With 30 seconds left in overtime, the score was 14-13 Colonials as Temple charged through GW’s defense in hopes of scoring.
But senior goalkeeper Jess Hicks stood her ground, securing the Colonials’ (8-5) victory with a well-timed save.
Hicks ended the game with a career-high 14 saves, a significant contribution to GW’s tight win over its’ challenging A-10 opponent.
“All the teams in the A-10 have stepped their game up. We aren’t taking any opponents lightly,” Hicks said.
In the beginning of the first half, GW started off strong, opening on a 3-0 scoring run. Sophomore Terasa Vassallo, freshman Allie Rash, and senior Casey Disharoon set the tone early with their own goals. It was clear that patience, quick cuts to the basket, and draw wins were going to be crucial against the Owls.
Temple broke the run and scored after tiring out the Colonials’ defense with 20 minutes left. They proceeded to go to on a 3-0 run, tying the score, and setting the back-and-forth tone for the rest of play.
“I told the girls that this could definitely be a fight and we could win by one goal. It really could be either way,” head coach Tara Hannaford said.
After seven minutes of trading possession and aggressive play, the Owls netted a goal but senior Sarah Phillips answered right back for GW with an unassisted goal.
Throughout the entire game, turnovers hindered the Colonials’ ability to hold a commanding lead. With aggressive defensive play, GW was able to recover quickly, but the mistakes kept it from pulling ahead decisively.
“It was the little things that were messing us up, like 50/50 balls, a few bad breaks. I think we rebounded very well. We turned it around but the little mistakes started to add up,” Hicks said.
At the beginning of the second half the score was 5-5, but the Owls quickly scored off of a free position shot. A minute later, GW answered again, when sophomore Jordy Bathras assisted Disharoon. The Colonials and Owls traded goals for the rest of the period, until, with four minutes left, Temple tied it at 13. Unable to score over the rest of regulation, the two teams headed into overtime.
While the teams huddled in preparation for the overtime period, the energy in the crowd and on the field was high. It was also Senior Day for the team, and its last home game of the season, and the fans on the sideline cheered loudly as the extra play began.
“All of us rallied together. We had a game plan to execute. Coach put together an overtime plan and we executed it exactly how she wanted. Anytime we do that, it usually plays out well,” Hicks said.
The Colonials nabbed the first draw win of overtime, setting them up for the only goal. With 19 seconds left of the first three minute half, junior Nicole Lacey tunneled through the Owls’ defense, scoring the winning goal unassisted.
GW won the second draw control for the last three minutes of play, but the Colonials turned the ball over, giving Temple a final chance to tie the game. With 30 seconds left, the Owls attempted a shot but Hicks secured the victory with her final save.
“We wanted to get possession of the ball and get a good shot. Jess came up during the entire game. We were able to get a big stop to secure the win,” Hannaford said.