Women’s soccer grabs third straight win

For three years, Kerry Philbin has been one of the top offensive players on GW’s women’s soccer team. This season, she had yet to find the back of the net – but she picked a pretty good time to break that drought on Tuesday.

Philbin tallied the game’s only score with four minutes left to play Tuesday off a corner kick from senior defender Lauren Kelly. GW’s 1-0 victory marked its third consecutive win and its final test before conference play begins Friday.

“The kick just came down perfect, and I knew someone would get it in,” Philbin said after the game. “We played a lot better in the second half, we finally got into a rhythm, so it was really good to score. And I’m excited that I got my first goal. Hopefully there will be a lot more.”

The win was the Colonials’ (4-4-0) third shutout victory this year and freshmen goalie Lindsey Rowe’s third win.

“We didn’t have many breakdowns today,” Rowe said. “Sometimes there are a few breakdowns in the back, but today we played pretty solid and the (defensive) backs really played great.”

The Eagles put pressure on the Colonials’ defense for most of the second half, outshooting the Colonials 24-10. The defensive line was up to the challenge, though, working together to prevent American from scoring.

“American’s a really strong physical team. They keep fighting,” Kelly said. “So we did what we could, making sure when one of us stepped up to the ball the other picked up to cover them. And Lindsey was really great in communicating and yelling to us. She directs really well.”

Rowe hadn’t always been so vocal on the soccer field, however.

“I came out hesitant; I didn’t say much in the beginning,” Rowe said. “I went from playing 15- and 16-year-olds in high school to 21-year-olds here, but after a while I got comfortable.”

The change seems to be paying off, as the Colonials have won three straight after starting the season 1-4, just in time for Atlantic 10 play, which begins at home on Friday against Fordham.

“It was a real confidence booster to win today,” team captain and senior midfielder Stephanie Covello said. “Especially since we’ve had a pretty rough preseason, and the last few years we’ve gone into overtime against American. It was great this year to get it done in regulation.”

For head coach Tanya Vogel, the game against American was also an opportunity to work out some last issues before heading into conference play.

“When we made substitutions, the players responded and we played better,” Vogel said. “It’s important that when we bring people in off the bench that they are able to maintain momentum, and in some cases today they were even able to increase the level of play.”

The Colonials will kick off against Fordham at 4 p.m. Friday. In the meantime, the team is happy with its play and excited for its upcoming Atlantic 10 match-ups.

“We played well, and we finished well today,” Vogel said. “We’re ready for conference play. We’re ready.”

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