The GW women’s soccer team outlasted fellow Atlantic 10 strugglers St. Bonaventure 2-0 Sunday afternoon to snap a three-game losing streak, claiming their first conference win of the season.
Each team entered the game winless in three conference matches after GW lost 3-0 to Duquesne just two days before.
GW’s 3-0 start to the season seemed only a distant memory after falling to 5-5-0 on the season before Sunday’s victory. As a result, both squads came out flying looking to gain an early edge.
The Colonials (6-5-0, 1-3-0 Atlantic 10) were the better team in the first half and came close to scoring a few times – including a side-foot volley by junior Kerry Philbin that seemed destined for the top corner before being saved – but were unable to find the breakthrough goal.
The opening goal had to wait until the 60th minute when junior Keira Mehlert, streaking down the left wing, outpaced her defender and sidefooted past St. Bonaventure keeper Nicole Markert to put the Colonials ahead.
St. Bonaventure threatened with 20 minutes left in the second half, working the ball quickly down the wing before sending a quality cross into the box. Before any Bonnie forward could get near it though, senior keeper Amie Kern dove to claim the ball in mid-air.
Immediately countering from the save, GW and Mehlert got their second goal when the junior forward found space behind the Bonnie backline to slot the ball into the bottom right corner.
Despite the second goal, GW’s sense of urgency remained intact and they continued to hound the opposition backline. It appeared as if the Colonials were in no mood to allow any points to slip away after the rough start to the A-10 season. The Colonial defense held strong, forcing their opponents to rely on long through balls and extending them no quarter in midfield.
GW continued to push forward to protect their lead and finished with 18 shots to just four by St. Bonaventure, edging them in corner kicks and fouls as well.
St. Bonaventure forward Courtney Bosse nearly made for a nervous final 10 minutes when she broke free through the center of GW’s defense but Kern preserved her shutout with an outstretched foot.
GW’s head coach Tanya Vogel was quick to laud her keeper, calling her a “tremendous leader” adding that her experience benefits the team during stretches of rough games.
The attitude shown throughout the match was the result of a change in team philosophy, Vogel added, as GW has started to focus less on their opponents and more on their own capabilities.
“I know we’ve been saying it a lot, but they need to believe they’re a good team,” Vogel said.
Vogel added that the past week had seen a further solidifying of the group as a team, as they worked more on intangibles than anything else.
That belief was on display throughout the match Sunday as the Colonials pressed to get, and then preserve, a much-needed lead and win.
That attitude may come in handy as GW heads on the road for their next two matches against A-10 high flyers Charlotte and Saint Louis, both of which are undefeated in conference play this season.