After the GW women’s soccer team defeated Rider 3-1 Tuesday afternoon at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex, head coach Tanya Vogel focused on the squad’s match-up Friday against Massachusetts. The game will mark the opening of Atlantic 10 play and essentially the start to a new season.
“We’re definitely proud of what we’ve accomplished, but in no way are we thinking ‘we’re 7-3, look at us,'” Vogel said. “We know that it’s important to do well in conference play and qualify for the A-10 Tournament, so that’s our focus right now.”
Vogel said that it was vital for the team to wrap up its non-conference schedule on a positive note, and the Colonials did just that. Sophomore Meg Pyle did not waste any time getting GW on the board as she broke a scoreless tie in the 11th minute. The forward, who has a team-leading five goals, lobbed the ball from the upper right corner of the 18-yard box to the far post to beat Rider goalie Kim Carter.
“I saw that the goalie was a little off her line, so I figured I’d go high on her,” Pyle said. “We just wanted to come out tough and play a good game of soccer to prepare for next weekend.”
Unsatisfied with a 1-0 lead, the Colonials continued to pressure the Broncos defense as freshman Dara Rosen broke through and notched her first two goals of the season. She sent a dipping ball with her left foot over Carter’s head from 20 yards out in the 31st minute, and then beat the Rider goalie again, this time on the ground, only four minutes later.
“It was an awesome feeling to score today. I was so excited to finally get one in the net,” Rosen said. “We’ve been working on our shots and finishing in practice and that definitely paid off for me in the game today.”
Despite heading into halftime with a 3-0 lead, Vogel insisted that the advantage on the scoreboard did not reflect the team’s true level of play. Instead, Vogel said that she was much more pleased with the way the Colonials played in the second half, even though they were held scoreless and lost the shutout when Rider sophomore Leslie Amster scored in the 88th minute.
“We’ve said all along that this is a special team, including every single person on it, and today we saw that,” Vogel said. “Almost everyone (saw minutes), and everybody contributed, which is what has really contributed to our success over the last three games. Every game we want to get better, every half we want to get better, and even though we scored all of our goals in the first half today, I’m proud of the way we played in the second half.”
The coach added that it will be necessary for everyone to take part for the Colonials to be successful in conference play, and the Rider game proved that every player is capable of competing.
“We have a few kids who maybe have a little more talent, but after the top two or three, the other nineteen are all about the same,” Vogel said. “Some of them have more experience and that gets them on the field, but we’re very proud of where everybody is, and we’re looking forward to the future.”
Vogel said that the Colonials will be well-prepared for the conference opener against Massachusetts, which is coming off a 1-0 overtime loss to Vermont.
“It’s almost like September is preseason, and October is your real season,” the coach pointed out. “Back in the ’90s, UMass and GW were the two teams that were always in the top, and I think both teams are very hungry, and both teams have had good starts, so I look forward to it being a tremendous battle on Friday.”