Women’s soccer opens season with pair of losses

The women’s soccer team opened its season this weekend not with a bang, but with a sputter. The Colonials fell 3-0 to District rival Georgetown Friday and then 1-0 on the road Sunday against Robert Morris, results that, taken individually, could have left head coach Tanya Vogel frustrated with her team’s performance.

Instead, Vogel remained optimistic after her team’s season-opening loss to the Hoyas, stressing that she was “most pleased with the fact that our team fought hard for 90 minutes.”

Facing a tough opponent like Georgetown in their first game, Vogel said, gave the Colonials (0-2-0) a chance to test themselves early in the season.

“To open the season against a top-ranked team like Georgetown, I am walking away pleased with areas of play and our full 90 minutes of effort,” Vogel said.

Offensively, GW labored against the Hoyas, with senior forward Ashley Starks recording the Colonials’ only two shots Friday. Nobody for GW managed to put a shot on goal in the team’s season opener.

Georgetown, by contrast, kept constant pressure on the GW defense, attempting 17 shots and putting six shots on goal against the Colonials.

Despite her team’s struggles to keep the Hoyas from scoring Friday, Vogel was quick to praise the play of both her freshmen and her returning players. The GW head coach pointed to the performances of sophomores Samie Cloutier, a defender, and Molly Bruh, a midfielder, as high points. Pre-season Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team member Alex Neal also earned praise from her coach in her first-ever game for GW.

The loss served as an opportunity to evaluate the team’s strengths and weaknesses, providing them with a regular-season starting point from which to build. Vogel said the Colonials will be watching video of the match to identify necessary improvements in their game, both as a team and as individuals.

“The three biggest things we will focus on this week in training are speed of play, off the ball movement and coordinated pattern play,” Vogel said, adding that honing the team’s identity will also be crucial during these early games if GW hopes to become a force in the A-10.

On Sunday, GW once again struggled to score goals, putting nine shots on goal against Robert Morris but coming away empty-handed. GW’s defense played well against Robert Morris, keeping the team within striking distance by allowing just one shot on goal the entire game. But when that shot found the back of the net less than a minute into the second half, GW couldn’t find an answer.

Even after the rough start, Vogel remained optimistic about her team’s outlook this season.

“Two biggest strengths of the 2010 women’s soccer team are our battling mentality and our depth,” Vogel said. “If our team can stay focused on the mission of the team while improving their individual performances, we will be able to utilize this depth to win games.”

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