On a hot and muggy Sunday at Howard’s Greene Stadium, the GW women’s soccer team seemed to truly dominate the Lady Bison in the midfield, in the possession battle, and in the 50-50 balls. But after 90 minutes of regulation, 30 minutes of overtime and a whopping 29 shots, the scoreboard never changed and the Colonials came away with a 0-0 tie.
GW (2-1-1) had a golden scoring opportunity in the sixth minute of the second half when they had a free kick from 25 yards, but junior Jillian Morgan’s strike sailed high and cleared the crossbar by just a few inches.
About 10 minutes later, junior Kirsten Slack methodically dribbled through the Howard defense and took a rip from 15 yards out, but Bison goalkeeper Jordan Thomas denied her with just one of her many big-time saves of the day. GW also had a flurry of corner kicks toward the end of the second half – many of which Slack, a substitute in the game, forced – but ultimately could not put any of them away to break the tie.
“It takes unique individual efforts to score goals,” head coach Tanya Vogel said after the game. “Our forwards and center midfielders are still learning, learning to do whatever that little extra effort required to score a goal.”
Though unable to score, GW dictated the flow of the game in the midfield and on the offensive end while Howard brought nine players back to do all they could to prevent a score. The Colonials’ midfielders – sophomore Sierra Smidinger, senior Brittany Eger and Morgan – consistently set their forwards up with beautiful balls that nonetheless failed to find the back of the net.
On the other side of the ball, the Colonials’ defense, led by senior tri-captain Emily Gower, did what was needed to keep the game tied, halting any potential Howard counterattack and allowing just four shots over the 120 minutes of play.
Also adding strong contributions were a number of freshman players. Defenders Samie Cloutier and Molly Bruh and forward Kayley Sullivan – who nearly broke the scoreless tie in the final seconds of regulation – all earned high marks from their coach after the contest.
“We have eight fantastic freshmen and Samie, Molly, and Kayley have done a great job earning starting spots,” Vogel said. “They’re all very solid players and we’re excited to have them aboard.”
Although a tie was not the result the Colonials were looking for, the players did not seem overly disappointed with their play.
“I think we played really well today,” Gower said. “We accomplished a lot of our goals that we set before the game in terms of working through the midfield and getting a lot of crosses and shots.”
Gower also believes the team is one of the strongest GW has had in recent years, a distinction she said she believes will become clear as the young season progresses.
“Honestly, we have so much potential, we’re working out the kinks now,” she said. “Today we couldn’t finish, but we’re playing very well and it will certainly come later in the season.”
The Colonials will continue to try to smooth things out Wednesday when they host Georgetown at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex. The game is set for a 4 p.m. start.