Women’s soccer extends home-unbeaten streak

With less than a minute to go on Sunday, senior Kim Warner again proved her worth as an opportunistic striker, latching onto a loose ball and lofting it over a helpless goalkeeper for a dramatic 1-0 victory over Towson.

The win continued the GW women’s soccer team’s home-unbeaten streak, which stretches back almost two years now. Since a loss to Rhode Island on Oct. 26, 2001, the team is 6-0-1 at Mount Vernon. GW Head Coach Tanya Vogel said she is well aware of that record and has a theory behind it.

“The advantage is that we don’t think of the surface as any different than grass,” she said, referring to the artificial turf at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex. “Other teams come in and are thinking about it.”

The Colonials (5-1-1), thinking about the U.S. women’s soccer team’s World Cup opener Sunday afternoon, moved their game up to an unusual 9:30 a.m. start. But GW was not distracted on the field, controlling the play with crisp, clean passing. Vogel said she was surprised when her team did not put the game away earlier on.

“Towson played a more direct style of play today,” Vogel said. “That made it difficult for us, but this team really gets along, and they believe in each other.”

Warner troubled the Tigers’ defense all morning with her superior speed. Near the end of the first half, the forward picked up the ball inside the GW penalty area and raced past Towson defenders up the entire length of the field. But after beating the last defender, her shot went off the post.

The referee frustrated Warner and her teammates several times during the game with calls the Colonials felt were questionable. At one point, GW assistant coach Colin Lennon received a yellow card for his complaints.

“We were fighting out there the whole time,” Warner said. “Even with the referee. That kind of stuff happens and you just have to play through it.”

Vogel said the final score looks a bit flattering for Towson’s defense but that the Colonials could have easily scored three or four goals. They just never put it together, she said.

“We’re still trying to figure out what kind of team we are,” she said. “As our confidence grows you’ll see us take more chances up top.”

The Colonials were careless at times on defense and looked as though they might let the game slip away. Frequent passes across their own goal line had the Towson attack salivating and Vogel sweating. But GW maintained its composure and kept the Tigers off the board.

“We can’t get frustrated,” Vogel said. “When we make mistakes, we can’t worry about it. We’ll fix it in the film room.”

Sunday’s game was the first of five straight at home for the Colonials, with Richmond visiting GW next on Friday at 4 p.m.

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