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Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012 10:50 p.m.

Women’s soccer team splits weekend contests

Senior forward Adriana Moya battles for the ball against a Bryant opponent during a match last season. | Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jake Deitcher.

The weekend’s record was split for the Colonials, but head coach Sarah Barnes sees both the victory and the loss as proof of a team that grows stronger with each passing contest.

“They believe they can win games and have a clear understanding of when they play well and why,” Barnes said in an email. “We should feel very confident in our ability to continue to improve and get results.”

The Colonials (3-3) entered the weekend riding a two-match win streak, opening with a game against Towson where GW controlled the tempo of play early. After sophomore forward Meg Murphy saw three shots blocked in the first 17 minutes of play, senior midfield Adriana Moya was finally able to break through the defense, heading a pass past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

At the beginning of the second half, Towson responded with a long punt from their goalkeeper that threaded through GW’s lines, setting up a goal. Freshman midfielder Kristi Abbate rose to the occasion, putting the Colonials on top again with a goal in the 65th minute, the deciding tally in the 2-1 victory.

“We showed that multiple people can step up and score goals, that we have the ability to come from behind and weather the storm defensively when opposing teams put us under pressure,” Barnes said.

But GW couldn’t ride its win streak into the final contest of the weekend, battling Rider Sunday in a hard-fought match that pitted two defensive-oriented teams against each other.

Rider broke a 0-0 tie in the 62 minute by converting a free kick, and though GW outshot Rider 13 shots to 7, the Colonials could muster only two shots on goal. Despite the loss, Barnes said her team’s fight throughout the game showed its ability to withstand pressure and continue to grow.

The Colonials remain encouraged by their record, but are also confident that they are better than their win-loss total suggests. The games leading up to conference play are important for the Colonials, because they have many new players who are still adjusting to the team. Each player is earning valuable experience playing against tough competition and playing together as a team.

“We obviously want to win as much as possible. Each game we are getting better and everything is gelling for us right now,” Moya said “We will move forward as a team and continue to improve. We really do like where we are as a team right now.”

The Colonials play an away match against Liberty Friday before beginning a five-match home stand that features matches against local rivals Howard and American and that will also mark the beginning of Atlantic 10 conference play.