Everyone wondered, prior to Sunday’s game, if senior Kim Warner would score in her final home game as a Colonial. The prolific scorer and Atlantic 10 leader in goals answered just two minutes into the game against Temple, netting her 40th career goal as a Colonial and her conference-leading 11th of the season. Warner added another goal seven minutes from the final whistle as the Colonials snapped their three-game losing streak, beating visiting Temple, 2-0.
After losing Friday’s game against St. Joseph’s, 2-0, Sunday’s game had huge implications. With the top six teams in the conference making it to the A-10 playoffs, the victory keeps GW tied with Duquesne for the sixth and final spot entering the last weekend of the season. The Colonials will attempt to qualify for their second straight A-10 Championship when they hit the road for games against third-place Fordham and struggling La Salle.
“This game was monumentally important,” GW head coach Tanya Vogel said after Sunday’s win. “If we don’t win this game, our season is likely to end next weekend.”
Senior Day at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex was a huge success for the Colonials despite the rather timid 2-0 score. GW dominated the visiting Owls in every facet of the game, allowing only five Temple shots while producing 29 of their own.
The game started with a bang as Warner received a pass from sophomore Lise Backman that left her one on one with Temple goalie Jackie Mauro. With most of the crowd not yet settled in, Warner easily put the ball past the keeper to give the Colonials a 1-0 lead.
The rest of the first half was played with Temple on the defensive as GW continuously pressured the Owls’ defense, producing 11 shots in the half.
One of the most memorable shots came in the 20th minute, when Warner broke free and produced a shot with the outside of her foot that hit the right post. With seven minutes remaining in the half, Warner got another chance, this time from outside the 18-yard box, cracking a shot that curled toward the upper-right corner of the goal. She was denied, however, by the outstretched hands of Mauro.
The second half began with senior captain Jamie Olson starting at goalkeeper and the Colonials picked up where they left off in the first half. Freshman Sarah Sample came close to netting her fourth goal of the season in the 58th minute when she sent a header on goal off a well-struck free kick by senior Megan Eckert. Mauro came up big again for the Owls, pushing it onto the crossbar.
After a few other close calls, Warner notched her second goal of the match in the 83rd minute, converting on a long ball from senior Sarah Minnich. Warner sped past several defenders before tucking the ball into the lower left-hand corner of the net, sealing the victory for the Colonials.
The win came on the heels of one of the Colonials’ worst games of the season, a shocking 2-0 defeat at the hands of St. Joseph’s on Friday. Just a few weeks prior to this weekend, it appeared the Colonials could not be beaten at home, as they rode a two-year home-unbeaten streak. But after seeing that snapped two weeks ago, GW’s troubles at home continued on Friday. The Colonials rarely mounted consistent offensive pressure and their defense was often unable to clear the ball.
GW’s next game is in Bronx, N.Y. against third-place Fordham at 2 p.m. Then, on Sunday, the Colonials head to Philadelphia to play La Salle at 1 p.m. in their last regular season game.