Women’s soccer coach Tanya Vogel always wants her team to win. But Sunday’s match against Charlotte meant something more: It came on Senior Day, which would be the last time her seven seniors played at home. But the game was not to be and the Colonials fell to Charlotte 3-0 Sunday afternoon on Mount Vernon.
GW held the 49ers, who are the best team in the Atlantic 10, scoreless in the first half, but they could not maintain the defensive success in the second half. Play between the two sides was scrappy at times, with some GW players saying after the game that Charlotte played “dirty.” The physicality directly prevented GW (7-9-0, 3-5-0 A-10) from scoring what would have been its only goal, as a foul away from the ball led the referee to disallow a second-half goal.
“We respect what Charlotte’s done this season, but we’re not intimidated,” senior midfielder Keara Mehlert said.
Perhaps the physicality can be attributed to the team wanting to win for their seniors on an emotional day. The day started with a tribute to the group, who took the field with parents and were presented with flowers and a photo board. Afterwards, players were visibly upset with the reality that their collegiate careers were coming to an end.
“We were even with them on shots, and we played really well on the ground,” Vogel said of her team. “These girls have been doing everything we’ve asked of them, and they deserve better.”
While they wanted to win, they were proud of their teammates’ efforts.
“We did everything right,” co-captain Steph Covello said. “Everyone that stepped onto the field played with their all.”
In their last two matches, the Colonials have had some defensive breakdowns which their opponents have been able to capitalize on. Assistant coach Neel Bhattacharjee said Friday’s defensive miscues proved to be the difference, and co-captain senior Kerry Philbin echoed the sentiment about Sunday’s game. However, the Colonials were able to defend the goal effectively in the first half, forcing the 49ers to play the ball wide.
As part of senior day, the Colonials teamed up with GW Cancer Institute’s Breast Care Center to host “Kick for the Cure” day. The team wore pink warm-up shirts and many players sported pink laces on their cleats. The team also asked spectators to wear pink and make donations in support of the GW Breast Care Center. The men’s soccer team, which hosted St. Joseph’s later in the afternoon, also wore pink warm-up shirts.
The Colonials have three matches left this season and must win all three to be in contention for Atlantic 10 championships. Up next for the team is Richmond, a team Vogel believes is an even match. Richmond is also 3-5 in Atlantic 10 play, losing 1-0 yesterday to St. Louis.
“We play them every year and we know them very well,” Vogel said. “We’re very similar teams, and I think we can be successful against them.”