Junior Alex Neal heads downfield earlier in the season. Hatchet File Photo by Michael Boosalis | Hatchet Photographer
This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Sophia Omuemu.
With 53 seconds left in the second half, freshman Kristi Abbate rocketed a shot into the net, forcing the game into overtime. But despite Abbate’s hard shot, which tied the game at one, and the ensuing extra period, the Colonials couldn’t secure the victory, ultimately falling 2-1.
It was the second loss of the weekend for GW. Friday, the Colonials dropped a 1-0 game against A-10 leader La Salle despite freshman goalkeeper Nicole Fasano tallying 10 saves.
Both losses taught the Colonials an important lesson about maintaining their attack on the pitch, head coach Sarah Barnes said.
“We’re going to continue thinking about creating opportunities and finishing,” Barnes said. “Those are important aspects and they’ll be really important going forward in these last conference games.”
Within the first 20 minutes of Friday’s game, it was apparent that the Explorers came ready to shoot the ball, quickly attempting seven shots while Colonials had zero. After 45 minutes of play, La Salle ended the half with 18 shots compared to GW’s two.
But Barnes said the Colonials expected that style of performance from La Salle, and in preparation for the game, GW familiarized itself with the Explorers’ quick style of play. Barnes knew that La Salle would bring a physical, high-pressure approach to the field, and in order to rebut that, GW needed to keep the ball in their half for most of the game.
“They played a pretty frantic pace and we needed to keep the ball,” Barnes said. “We chased a lot but we created good chances.”
GW’s first shot attempt of the game came in the 39th minute, when freshman midfielder Brooke Bean headed an unsuccessful shot towards the goal. Ultimately, the ball was mainly on the Colonials’ defensive end, forcing Fasano to tally eight saves during the first half.
After battling through 72 minutes of play, the Explorers set up a corner kick and volleyed the ball towards the net. Fasano fumbled with the ball, which lead to the lone goal of the game.
“I thought we played well. I thought we played with our chances. You’ve got to roll with the punches,” Barnes said. “We have to be more efficient.”
GW headed to Fordham Sunday prepared to play against the Rams’ uncommon 3-5-2 formation on the pitch, an approach that isn’t seen across the rest of the A-10. In order to combat that, Barnes said, the Colonials’ wanted to “play forward aggressively,” focusing on getting the ball down the field and maintaining solid possession throughout play.
The Colonials started the half off strong with three shot attempts from freshman Amanda Gaggioli, junior Alex Neal, and senior Kayley Sullivan within the first three minutes of play. GW ended the half with eight shots, while the Rams had seven. But at the 56thminute of the second half, the Rams fired the ball from 35 yards out to the top right corner of the goal to nab the first slot on the scoreboard.
“We had several quality chances in the first half. We went one on one with the goalkeeper,” Barnes said. “We were really confident going into the second half.”
Taking the field after the break, GW hoped to pull ahead and earn its first conference victory. The Colonials’ momentum was still high when Abbate dribbled through the Rams defense and shot the ball to the upper right corner of the net, tying the game 1-1.
Both teams entered into overtime battling for a goal, but Fordham scored the final tally of the game at the 96thminute. It was the second OT contest for the Colonials this season, who fell to 0-5-0 in conference play.