With new coach Tanya Vogel at the helm and a revamped lineup, which includes red-shirt freshman Kim Warner, the Colonials are focused on their new season, which continues at Princeton University Saturday night. GW (0-1) is coming off a tough 1-0 season-opening loss at Georgetown last Sunday.
After a disappointing 3-15-1 season in 1999, few fans would give GW much of a chance in the Atlantic 10. However, with the arrival of Vogel and nine true freshmen, there is excitement and optimism.
Without question, this is a team that can win the Atlantic 10 championship, Vogel said. They just need confidence. One by one they are beginning to believe in themselves.
The team is led by tri-captains Malynda Nichol, Melissa Schreibstein and Jessica Sultzer, but Vogel expects contributions from the entire 25-player roster.
I’m going to play every single person, Vogel said. In 19 games, I may use 19 different starting lineups. GW has always thrived on playing with its complete roster. It’s going to take the complete team to do well this year.
But GW will need to start scoring goals. Juniors Tiffany Williams and Kesha Christoph combined for nine of the team’s 16 goals last year. Vogel said she also knows the team needs to mature quickly to remain in contention.
I don’t even think of these freshmen as inexperienced, Vogel said. They’re all experienced on club teams. We have three who have played in National Championship games with their clubs. I don’t even know if (the University of) North Carolina can say that.
Warner, who missed all of last season due to an ACL injury, spent two years as a member of the Under-20 Canadian National team. Freshman Midfielder Nicole D’Hondt played for the 1999-00 national runner-up Michigan Hawks club team and freshman Caite Terranova was a member of the 1998 national champion Wild Thing in Weston, Conn.
Another difference from last year is the chemistry of this team.
We have a lot of respect for each other, Sultzer said. We help each other through hard times and push each other to reach our goals. Our first goal is to win the A-10. We’re so much further along than we were last year at this time.
Just watch out, Vogel said. We’re going to be awesome. You’ll see.