Just before junior Keara Mehlert helped lift the GW women’s soccer team to a two-overtime win over the University at Buffalo Saturday, players on the bench shouted “believe.”
They believed, and they won their first game in two weeks and improved their record to 4-2-0 on the season.
Mehlert finished the game in the 103rd minute when she scored past the outstretched Buffalo goalkeeper’s hands.
GW struck first off a corner kick in the 38th minute but gave up the lead three minutes later when Buffalo was awarded a penalty kick for a handball in the box, which the Bulls converted.
The Colonials attempted to shake off the rust of not playing in almost two weeks by being conservative. Sensing the chance to steal a win, the Bills countered by opening up the game in the overtime periods, resulting in opportunities for both squads. With 3:45 left in the first overtime, senior Nicole Trickett nearly won the game with a fizzing drive off a passing move but the ball hit the crossbar and bounced out.
GW had difficulty translating crisp passing into scoring chances in the final third of the game, but because they controlled the ball most of the time, Buffalo had difficulty producing chances of their own.
It was much-needed win for a Colonials squad that had lost its last two games, to Georgetown and George Mason, without scoring a goal. Although the time off gave them time to work out the kinks, some players said they missed playing in games that counted.
“It’s tough, practicing every day,” Mehlert said. “It felt longer than preseason.”
Coach Tanya Vogel added that without regular games, it becomes difficult to maintain the right level of fitness. Intense practices everyday wear teams down, but easy practices let the team get out of shape.
Given the results in the two games prior to the win over Buffalo, the Colonials could have doubted themselves, but the buzzword from the bench for most of the game was “believe.”
Vogel echoed the sentiment, saying the word gives the team a confidence it sometimes lacks.
“We talk about belief a lot,” she said. “We’re a good team and they need to believe that.”
Heading into the last game before Atlantic 10 play begins, against a strong American University squad, GW could not have picked a better time to regain the swagger they had in the beginning of the year.
Vogel was confident the win will be a stepping stone to jumpstart their season, adding “the more you win, the more it comes.”