The women’s soccer team (2-2-0) lost a tough contest to the Drexel Dragons (4-1-0) Friday on a muggy afternoon on the Mount Vernon Campus. It was a a back-and-forth contest filled with opportunities for both sides, but the Colonials couldn’t get on the board and lost 1-0.
Despite outshooting the Dragons 8-3 (including a 5-2 margin in shots on goal), Drexel claimed the lone tally on a goal in the box from forward Vanessa Kara.
“You can sort of boil it down to [Drexel] was better in the penalty box than we were,” said head coach Sarah Barnes. “It’s a disappointing loss.”
The Dragons got on the board with Kara’s left-footed finish six minutes into the second half. Just minutes after GW midfielder Nicole Belfonti hit the right post with a shot from outside of the box, Kara chased down a loose ball on the right wing and sprinted down the sideline. A swift cut to the inside freed Kara in the box, and a couple quick touches gave her the look she needed to get the eventual game-winning goal.
“[Kara] is a good player and a good dribbler, and she’s fast,” said Barnes. “We have a numerical advantage [at the back], but I thought we dove in; we were undisciplined and impatient.
“She should not have had that look, but I also thought [redshirt sophomore goalie] Miranda [Horn] should have done better on it, frankly. But it’s a full team breakdown there.”
The Colonials certainly had their chances. In the seventh minute, senior midfielder Kristi Abbate won a free kick on the right side for the Colonials. Senior defender Brooke Stoller, one of two Colonial position players to play all 90 minutes, played a beautiful ball into the box toward junior forward MacKenzie Cowley. Cowley ran onto the ball in stride, but ultimately failed to even get a touch. Similar missed opportunities came and went time and time again as GW failed to get an adequate touch on multiple balls in the box.
“We’re getting good numbers,” Stoller said. “We usually finish at least one of those chances, but hopefully we can work on it in practice and it will go better against Georgetown.”
The game could have easily swung in the Dragons’ favor later on in the first half, when the ball came to Drexel forward Iman Walker in the box. Walker settled off of her chest and turned nicely around the Colonial defense, but Horn came off of her line to make a fantastic save.
Belfonti led GW with three shots, including two on goal and the chance that caromed off the post at the beginning of the second half. Abbate was particularly dynamic, streaking up and down the wings and opening up the middle for the forwards Cowley and freshman Sofia Pavon. Another Colonial chance came after Abbate played a dummy through her legs and blasted down the left side, pivoting and firing a right-footed shot from outside the box. The keeper barely got a touch, tipping the ball over the bar.
“With our formation that we’re playing, the outside midfielders are probably one of the most important positions because we create the depth for the team,” said Abbate. “Our forwards have so much speed… we need to try to take advantage of that more.”
Abbate also spoke on the back and forth nature of the game and the difficulty in trying to maintain position and focus.
“You can’t think about it, you have to make sure you’re getting back after you push forward. We’re going to do a better job of finishing those chances that we have.”
The Colonials are in store for a tough matchup as they square off at Georgetown next Thursday. The Hoyas were initially ranked in the preseason top 25, but have fallen off in a 3-2-0 start to the year.
“We didn’t do a good enough job of creating clear scoring opportunities,” said coach Barnes. “It’s going to be a matter of being more disciplined and finishing those chances.”
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at the Georgetown campus.