Women’s soccer drops two straight to open year

For the GW women’s soccer team, their first win of the season was elusive on Sunday, as the squad fell to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1-0, at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex.

The Colonials (0-2) came in to Sunday’s match looking to improve on their lack of offense in the 1-0 loss to Navy two days earlier, during which they registered just one shot on goal.

“It’ll come,” head coach Tanya Vogel said after Sunday’s loss. “We created a lot more opportunities today than we did on Friday. That’s a step forward. We just need to finish on them.”

“We know there were things that we did today that were great,” she added. “We know we have a lot of talent on this team, we just have to figure a way to put it together.”

It took GW some time Sunday to find their offensive footing, however, as the Retrievers set the tone for the match with their strong physical play early on. Their tenacity produced the first offensive opportunity for the Retrievers as sophomore forward Jessica Young battled GW junior Nicole Cavino, firing a dangerous near-post shot that was saved by senior Anna Handzlik.

After an offensively anemic first half, things seemed to start up late with GW freshman Kerry Philbin. Philbin gave the UMBC defense trouble at the 66:46 mark. Her chance was the direct result of some good work on the right by freshman Meghan Pyle, who found senior Ashley Squires in the box after some clever work on the right wing. Squires cut the ball back to an on-rushing Philbin, whose shot looked like it was going in before rolling only a few inches wide of the post.

The missed chance loomed even larger just three minutes later, as UMBC’s Amanda DiCarlo took advantage of a loose ball in the box, slotting it past Handzlik from a tight angle to make it 1-0.

Before UMBC put a score on the board, the Colonials nearly found themselves on top at 68:54 when Philbin latched on to a good cross from classmate Keara Mehlert from the left. Though the attempt was a good one from close range, UMBC goalkeeper Christine Backinski was able to keep the score level with a difficult save.

GW tried to attack quickly, when Cavino launched an ambitious shot challenging Backinski just seconds after the second-half kickoff.

The Colonials found themselves on defense just one minute later, however, as UMBC’s Jessica Young took advantage of a loose ball in the back, forcing Hanzlik into a difficult save.

GW got back into the game and started creating chances. Philbin continued to provide much of the offensive spark, controlling a long-floating service from midfield before putting a shot on goal that Backinski saved with some effort.

One of the only valid offensive attempts in the first half came by sophomore Kiki Colker. The Colonials had chance to take the lead at the 36:33 mark in the first half when the Beverly Hills, Calif., native beat three defenders on a powerful run at goal before seeing her attempt at a finish snuffed out efficiently by Backinski.

The Colonials will again seek their first win of the season on Friday at 3 p.m., when they take on Howard University away.

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