GW over and done with tough season

Despite the continued efforts of the GW women’s soccer team, its 1999 season ended with a disappointing 3-15-1 record.

The Colonial women faced many difficulties from the start of the season as their two top scorers, Jane Lea and Jane Anderson, graduated last year. This left the Colonial women struggling to survive against some of the top teams across the country and in the Atlantic 10.

As a result, the team posted the worst winning percentage in program history (.184), lost the most matches ever (15), and set the record for consecutive losses (8). Picked third in the A-10 by the coaches, GW held high expectations as it began the season with a strong blend of experienced upperclassmen and talented freshmen. Sophomore Kesha Christoph scored four goals for GW and with sophomore five-goal scorer Tiffany Williams returning next season, the GW offense has something to look forward to. Defensively, sophomore Courtney Wright led GW. She was named second-team all-conference and started 17 games for the Colonial women.

However, the lack of experience from some freshman recruits worked against this year’s squad.

It is hard to develop confidence on the field if you are not already a seasoned-experienced player, second-year head coach Michele Rodriguez-Smith said.

GW also faced a grueling, intense schedule that Rodriguez-Smith hoped would prepare the Colonial women for the challenging A-10 schedule. GW faced area rivals Maryland, Georgetown and George Mason, and went on the road to meet San Diego State University, Auburn University and the University of Georgia.

GW often dominated the beginning of each match and gained solid ball control. However, the opposition often regained possession and almost always responded to the Colonial women’s scoring attempts. GW was outscored 29-6 in the second half this season.

Shannon Ashfield, who played each match without fully recovering from a severe leg injury, made 109 saves, tallying three shutouts in 1,780 minutes of action.

Rodriguez-Smith looks optimistically toward next season. She said she hopes the freshmen evolve into experienced upperclassmen with the 1999 season now behind them.

You can only grow stronger from these experiences, Rodriguez-Smith said.

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