Despite racing out to its best start ever, the GW women’s soccer team failed to make the Atlantic 10 Tournament, splitting its last weekend series of the season. The Colonials won their final game against La Salle on Sunday, but a 2-1 defeat at Fordham Friday essentially knocked them out of playoff contention. The Colonials finished the season with a solid 11-6-2 overall record, but they were a disappointing 5-5-1 in conference play.
“I think that this team played incredibly well all season long,” GW head coach Tanya Vogel said. “Winning is very difficult and we lost to a lot of good teams.”
The Colonials placed seventh in the conference out of 12 teams, ending up three points behind the final tournament qualifier, sixth-place Rhode Island. After initially looking like a lock to make the tournament, the Colonials lost five of their last eight games.
The season did end on a relatively good note with a 2-1 victory over La Salle (3-13-1, 3-8 A-10). Senior Kim Warner opened the scoring 57 seconds into the game, heading a throw-in from freshman Christine Jordie into the net. The assist was Jordie’s first point as a Colonial. The goal was Warner’s 41st and final goal of her career, which ranks her third in school history.
Less than two minutes later, senior defender Molly Sunderdick fed the ball through to freshman standout Sarah Sample, who put away her fourth goal of the season. La Salle got on the board early in the second half but was unable to get an equalizer.
The win meant that a Rhode Island loss to last-place Temple Sunday would have put the Colonials into the tournament. But Rhode Island beat Temple soundly, 3-1.
At Fordham (10-5-2, 6-2-2 A-10), GW went up against the hottest and most surprising team in the conference. The Rams got the lead early as Beth Purcell bagged her fourth goal of the season in the 15th minute, but less than two minutes later the Colonials answered with a goal from sophomore Ashley Squires.
Purcell put the Rams ahead again with her second goal in the 81st minute, and GW could not answer.
On paper, the Colonials’ season was better than last year, when they went 10-9 overall and advanced to the conference tournament. But after starting 8-1-2, the Colonials struggled down the stretch. While Vogel would not blame the decline on injuries, she admitted they were a factor. Junior Captain Kelly Lawten tore her anterior cruciate ligament in an Oct. 17 overtime loss to Dayton and sophomore midfielder Ina Kaine battled a nagging knee injury of her own throughout the second half of the season.
With the season over, Vogel said she is sad to see her seniors leave without one more A-10 Tournament appearance.
“I think all the credit in the world has to go to the seniors,” she said. “Under these six seniors the team has gotten better every year, and it’s not the coaching. I am sorry that they didn’t make it to the A-10 (Tournament), but I couldn’t be prouder of the group as a whole.”