The last games of the GW women’s soccer team’s season went much the way the entire year had: with good effort, good teamwork, quality goals scored and a couple weak ones allowed.
The end result: one win and one loss to finish a season in which GW just did not seem to have luck on its side.
GW defeated Saint Joseph’s 3-2 last Friday and fell to Temple by a score of 2-1 Sunday in their final games. Both matches featured strong offense by the team, with senior Keara Mehlert scoring in each game and senior Meg Pyle notching two assists in Friday’s tilt.
But both games also featured goals by the opposing team late in the game – especially on Sunday. A late Temple score gave the Owls momentum – an issue that has plagued the team in many of this season’s games – and allowed Temple to capitalize and score in overtime.
“Often times, we had girls who played the full 90 minutes on Friday and then again on Sunday,” head coach Tanya Vogel said. “That takes a toll on them and wears us down late in games. It was an unavoidable situation.”
The Colonials ended the season at 8-11-0 and 4-7 in Atlantic 10 play, which left them three games short of the Atlantic 10 Championships. The team was eliminated from championship play with two games left in the season. The players will reflect on the feeling of being out of contention with games still left to play when they prepare for next season, Vogel said.
“They realized how that felt, to know that they were going to be home with still a weekend to play,” she said. “They’re not going to want to go through that again.”
For players like Pyle, Mehlert and senior co-captain Kerry Philbin, however, this season was the last chance to compete in the conference tournament.
“It’s extremely disappointing to know that it’s over and that we fell short,” Philbin said. “But we had a really great team this year and an incredible group of girls. If I had to pick anyone of the last four years’ teams for my senior season, it would have been these girls.”
Although the team has not yet met for offseason training, Vogel already has begun developing goals for next season. For instance, Vogel would like for her team to attack more.
“We want to be on the attack for the majority of the game so that we’re wearing down on the other team’s defense,” Vogel said. “Not only does that mean that we have more scoring opportunities for us to capitalize on, but that also means that later in the game, we’re in a better position to keep scoring late.”
Vogel also discussed how playing defense involves more exertion and that keeping on the attack means that GW’s defense is fresh and able to defend its own goal when the ball is on the Colonials’ side of the field.
Although this season was not what the team wanted or expected, the coaches and players alike felt they accomplished more than their record implied.
Pyle said, “This wasn’t the best season we’ve ever had, but the way we played, it didn’t feel like a losing season either.”