Maryland hat trick shuts down GW

The GW women’s soccer team went head to head with host No. 23 Maryland Terrapins Tuesday night, but Julie Nelson’s hat-trick dropped the Colonials 3-0.

The contest featured the first match-up between GW coach Tanya Vogel and former GW coach, Shannon Higgins-Cirovski, who heads the Maryland team. Vogel was a four-year letter winner on Higgins-Cirovski’s team when she coached from 1991-97. Vogel said Higgins-Cirovski is a woman of few words but did compliment GW after the game.

During her freshman season at GW, Vogel said she told Higgins-Cirovski that it was her goal to one day coach the Colonials. Vogel said Higgins-Cirovski smiled and laughed at that statement.

To live out that moment was fun, Vogel said. It was a proud moment for me to have my team out there against (Higgins-Cirovski’s) team.

The Colonials challenged the Terrapins’ pressuring offense with great defense and solid goaltending from freshman Christine O’Malley, which kept Maryland off the scoreboard into the 30th minute. The Colonials came close to taking an early lead in the 15th minute, but freshman Kim Warner’s shot hit off the goalpost.

Nelson’s offensive persistence led to the first of her three goals, and that was all Maryland would need. Nelson completed her first career hat-trick with a goal in the 52nd minute and a penalty kick in the 62nd minute. The Terrapins out-shot GW 17-6, but O’Malley made seven saves in the game frustrating her Maryland opponents.

Once again, Vogel expressed her enthusiasm and excitement of her team’s play despite the shutout loss.

For ninety minutes it was an amazing team effort, Vogel said. There were some brilliant things we did out there tactically speaking.

Vogel said she was encouraged by her team’s confidence to compete with Maryland, one of the top teams in the country. GW’s weekend road games will be no easy task for Vogel and the Colonials as they compete in the Rutgers Classic in Piscataway, N.J., against Rutgers and Syracuse universities.

-Zach Leibowitz contributed to this report.

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