Women’s soccer drops 3-2 decision to Richmond

Richmond goalie Kate Hudson dives to save a shot by junior Keara Mehlert during the Spiders’ 3-2 win Saturday afternoon at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex.Ryder Haske/assistant photo editor

Down two goals at two different times in the game, the women’s soccer team’s game Saturday afternoon at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex against Richmond appeared all but over. Each time, the Colonials were able to cut their deficit to one but could not overcome that final goal, losing 3-2.

The Colonials (6-8, 1-6 Atlantic 10) were outplayed for most of the match, struggling with defensive collapses. The first took place in the fourth minute, when a failed attempt to clear the ball in front of GW’s goal led to an unassisted goal by Richmond forward Melanie Varga.

The Spiders (4-9-2, 3-3-1 A-10) took a 2-0 advantage early in the second half, when Varga assisted a goal by forward Jen Ruhe. Freshman Cynthia Gamboa retaliated in the 63rd minute off assists from senior Nicole Trickett and junior Erica Wright, but less than two minutes later Richmond again was on top by a couple tallies when midfielder Sarah Hilt connected on a penalty kick.

Perhaps the most glaring problem the Colonials struggled with was communication between the defenders, the midfield and forwards. The defense and midfield appeared out of sync, and while the midfield was able to string together multiple passes that created potential goal opportunities, the offense was not able to convert. Similarly, when the offense was clicking, the defense was unable to provide a stop at the other end.

With about 20 minutes remaining, Ruhe went down with an injury, giving the Colonials a chance to regroup and perhaps come up with some late magic. Whatever head coach Tanya Vogel said to her team in that huddle appeared to have rubbed off.

In the 87th minute, amid chaos in front of the Spiders’ goal, sophomore Emily Gower found the net, once again bringing the Colonials within one. It was still too little too late, as GW could not come up with the equalizer.

Junior Meg Pyle said that the late goal indicated that her team did not fold and continued to fight despite the deficit.

“We never gave up and scored a late goal,” Pyle said. “(Our) energy level was good as well.”

Although the Colonials have not officially been eliminated from the A-10 tournament, they would need victories in their final four games plus good fortune in other games in the A-10. Pyle said that the realization that the squad probably will not reach the postseason is very disappointing to the team’s five seniors.

The Colonials’ next chance to move up in the standings is against Temple Oct. 26 at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex. Game time is set for noon.

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