Handzlik leads women’s soccer

On paper, the Dartmouth College women’s soccer team has an edge over the GW women’s team. After capturing their sixth straight NCAA Tournament last season, the Big Green is now ranked No. 7 in the Northeast by Soccerbuzz.com, a leading women’s soccer Web site.

However, the Colonials hung tough against Dartmouth on Sunday, tying the Big Green 1-1 in double overtime in the second game of the Hoya Classic Tournament at Georgetown. In the first game of the tourney, GW beat Quinnipiac University 1-0 Friday.

With eight freshmen on the roster, it is important for GW to get contributions from as many players as possible.

“We have made unbelievable strides in the past ten days and we are starting to play like a team,” head coach Tanya Vogel said.

Coming off a win against Quinnipiac, defense paved the way for the Colonials (1-1-1) as they held the powerful Big Green to only one goal. Junior goalkeeper Anna Handzlik led the way with seven saves in the double-overtime contest.

The players said they were pleased to put in a great effort against a top team.

“We played well as a team and are all really excited to keep playing hard for the rest of the season,” said sophomore Shari Taylor, who scored the Colonials’ lone goal in their tie against Dartmouth. “A game like this gives us an idea about where we are and how we are playing. It was nice to see that we can play with this intensity.”

Dartmouth (1-1-1) goalkeeper Anne Marbarger, who only allowed four goals in Ivy League play last season, registered six saves on eight shots.

The Colonials’ offense struggled in the first half, as they only attempted one shot on goal. After many lost opportunities on both sides of the ball, the half ended in a 0-0 deadlock.

Scoring opportunities dwindled for both teams as the defenses intensified in the second half. GW sophomore Sarah Sample had several opportunities to score in the second, but Dartmouth struck first. In the 56th minute, freshman Monica Marin de Bustamante headed one past a cluster of Colonial defenders to register her first score of the season.

Ten minutes later, the Colonials tied the score at one when Taylor found a hole among defenders and slammed the ball into the back of the net.

The overtime periods continued to be devoid of offense. With 29 seconds remaining in the overtime period, Sample missed a free kick that would have given the Colonials their second straight win. Instead, the game entered a second overtime, which failed to produce a score.

Vogel said the game was a step in the right direction, even without a win.

“Dartmouth is respected well nationally but we always look to win,” Vogel said. “We are disappointed but we are finally figuring out how to play together.”

In the Colonials’ 1-0 win over Quinnipiac Friday, sophomore Sarah Sample’s goal with 3:36 remaining in the second half clinched it for GW.

“What we need to do now is work hard in practice and get ready to play later this week,” Vogel added.

The Colonials travel to Omaha, Neb. next weekend to face South Dakota State University and Creighton University.

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