If Courtney Wright was nervous, it didn’t show.
Seventeen minutes into her collegiate soccer debut, Wright scored her first goal for the GW women’s soccer team. But she wasn’t the only freshman who played well for the Colonial women in Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the sixth-ranked University of Virginia.
Midfielder Keisha Christoph, defender Angelica Caramanica and Wright overcame the nervousness of their first collegiate game and played most of the match.
“I was so nervous in the first half, I thought I was going to throw up,” Wright said, smiling after the game. “But in the second half, I kind of calmed down.”
Wright wasted little time making an impression. Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. But four minutes later, GW midfielder Jane Lea lofted a perfect pass to Wright behind the Cavaliers’ defense. The freshman from Northport, N.Y., dribbled in alone and calmly buried the tying goal in the right corner of the net.
“I just saw an opportunity to go through, got the ball and put it right through,” Wright said of her goal.
“We expected this from (Wright), she was our top recruit,” GW coach Michele Rodriguez-Smith said. “We have confidence in her skills and her leadership. She’s going to make a difference because she wants to make a difference.”
Caramanica, a 5-2 freshman from Huntington, N.Y., played most of the game at right fullback before being taken out late in the second half.
“Of course, I was really nervous,” Caramanica said. “But the team prepared me for the pace of the game. I held my own out there. I didn’t play the greatest game. It’s a different style of play than what I’m used to.”
Christoph played center-midfield for GW and assisted on a goal by senior Jane Anderson in the 73rd minute.
“We asked her to do some things she wasn’t used to, but she stepped up and played well,” Rodriguez-Smith said of Christoph. “I was pleased with the way the freshmen were able to step right in and play.”