The defending Mid-American Conference Champion Ohio Bobcats lived up to their billing Friday afternoon when they handily defeated the GW women’s soccer team 5-2 in Athens, Ohio. Senior midfielder Kimberly Sanders scored her first career goal in her first game against her twin sister Rachel, a defender for Ohio University.
Despite Sanders’ goal and an early score from GW’s Kim Warner, the match was a one-sided affair. Following two quick Bobcat goals as the first half wound down, Ohio’s Carolyn Valade notched the go-ahead goal in the 48th minute. Ohio (3-1) would add two more for good measure before the game ended.
GW head coach Tanya Vogel said the goals came during one of her team’s lapses in play.
“During the game we had moments of great things and then lulls,” she said. “And a team like Ohio will take advantage of those lulls.”
Addressing what she described as her team losing concentration at times, Vogel added, “We talked about our focus in our pre-game and our post-game talks and it is something we will have to work on the rest of the season.”
GW (2-2) took a 1-0 lead when Warner netted her third goal of the season in the second minute, using her breakaway speed to score an unassisted goal. But after Valade and teammate Christel Schiering both scored within the last five minutes of the first half, the Bobcats held a 2-1 lead at halftime.
After Valade’s second goal, GW cut the Bobcats’ lead to one when Kimberly Sanders headed in a ball from freshman Ina Kain in the 75th minute. The goal was the first in NCAA competition for Sanders, a junior, who shared the memorable moment with several family members in attendance. But as is the case in most sibling rivalries, Kimberly did not steal all of the family spotlight.
Minutes later, Rachel Sanders assisted on a Lindsey Vondrell goal that gave the Bobcats a decisive 4-2 lead with time running out. Schiering then scored her second goal of the game to complete an overpowering offensive game for Ohio.
GW plays next at Towson University Thursday at 4 p.m. before what will likely be one of its toughest matches of the season at No. 25 Maryland Sunday at 4:30 p.m.