GMU spoils home opener

The GW women’s soccer team’s first home game of the season did not go as planned Wednesday. The Colonials took an early lead but could not hold on, losing 3-2 to George Mason University.

“I think we played well enough to win, but there are some little things holding us back,” GW head coach Tanya Vogel said. “This is a team you are going to see great things from. Their confidence is not lacking.”

The GW women’s soccer team has never beaten GMU in 18 attempts.

Sophomore Sarah Sample put the Colonials (2-3-2) up 1-0 in the 18th minute on a perfectly placed header off a corner kick. George Mason (4-4-1) tied the game less than two minutes later on a long breakaway off the foot of senior Sarah Wilkinson. Sample and Wilkinson both played well offensively throughout the game.

The Colonials regained the lead at the 28:00 mark, when Sample scored her second goal of the contest with a long shot from over 20 feet away. Again, GW could not hold the lead, allowing a goal with just 42 seconds left in the first half.

The second half was a fierce physical battle between the two teams. But the Patriots got the best of GW junior goalkeeper Anna Handzlik in the 63rd minute when Wilkinson netted her second goal of the day. The Colonials put together several strong offensive charges but could not net the game-tying goal.

“It’s a little defeating because we have been working so hard,” a teary-eyed Sample said after the game. “The great thing is it has looked so much better than it has looked. We have made such great strides since the beginning of the season. Despite the loss we have a come a long way and we are still getting better so it’s not that bad.”

Sample now leads the Colonials in overall points with four goals and one assist.

“I scored two goals but it still feels like crap because we should have won and we could have,” Sample said. “Two goals is good but I wanted to win and I know the team wanted to win.”

During the first half, GMU starting goalkeeper Sarah Coughlin knocked heads with a GW player on a corner kick. The senior remained in the game for several minutes.

Trainers looked at her before paramedics determined that Coughlin should be transported to GW Hospital for more evaluation, saying that Coughlin had a concussion. Coughlin was evaluated in the Emergency Room.

The Colonials return to action Saturday at 1 p.m. when they begin their Atlantic 10 schedule against Richmond. The game is the first of a double header with the men’s soccer team.

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