In a span of no more than 15 seconds during overtime Sunday, the women’s soccer team was denied not once but twice by what appeared to be hand balls inside Xavier’s penalty box, but no penalties were called. Those non-calls and Xavier’s subsequent double overtime game-winning goal capped off a horrendous weekend for the Colonials, whosaw their two-year home unbeaten streak broken, their starting right-back and team captain injured and their conference record drop to 500.
The Colonials (9-4-2, 3-3-1 Atlantic 10) lost to Dayton at home Friday and Xavier at home Sunday, both in 1-0 overtime losses. It was the first time the Colonials were shut out during a weekend series this season, despite playing reasonably good soccer.
“Our team played very well,” GW head coach Tanya Vogel said. “We played as a team and they did everything we asked. Unfortunately we didn’t get the results.”
After losing their first game at Mount Vernon Athletic Field since Oct. 26, 2001 on Friday, the Colonials looked to bounce back against a quick, talented Xavier squad.
Playing without captain Kelly Lawten, who injured her knee against Dayton, the Colonials’ defense came under extensive pressure from Xavier (7-7-1, 3-4 A-10) in the first ten minutes. But it was GW who had the first credible chance when senior Kim Warner ran past several defenders and unleashed a powerful shot only to see it denied on a diving save from Musketeers goalkeeper Andrea Garber.
Both teams had other opportunities in a see-saw first half but neither could find the back of the net as the game remained deadlocked at 0-0.
In the closing minutes of regulation, GW won two corner kicks in the last 30 seconds but could not score as sophomore Lise Backman’s shot from outside the penalty area hit the crossbar as time expired.
The Colonials looked poised to take the victory in the first overtime period but two successive apparent handballs by Xavier, the second one blocking Backman’s shot on goal, went uncalled. Vogel refused to blame the officials for the loss but acknowledged that there were several points where the officiating was questionable.
The second overtime saw an exhausted GW defense break down, as Xavier freshman Amber Silvis made a terrific pass onto the feet of senior Nicole Giesting. The Musketeer placed a perfect shot between the legs of charging goalkeeper Anna Handzlik to hand the Colonials their second straight home loss.
Their first loss came against Dayton (9-4-1, 5-1 A-10) in a tight contest that saw GW produce 11 shots, six of which were on goal. But the Colonials were unable to score and the Flyers finally broke through three minutes into the first overtime as senior Beth McHugh scored her first goal of the season. GW’s home-unbeaten streak had lasted 13 games, during which the Colonials went 11-0-2.
GW will look to bounce back next weekend as its home stand continues against St. Joseph’s at 3 p.m. Friday and Temple at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“I’m still confident with the way the team is playing,” Vogel said. “We have a very talented squad whose won nine games already. I expect them to make it 10.”