Falling 1-0 in the 97th minute against Loyola Md. on the road Friday night might seem like a bitter pill to swallow for women’s soccer head coach Tanya Vogel. For the second straight game, the Colonials (2-3) failed to score in regulation and forced overtime in a 0-0 game.
But unlike its previous match, a home game a week ago against Mount St. Mary’s, it was GW that wound up on the wrong side of the 1-0 deficit after the Greyhounds’ Alex Reed scored the game winner for Loyola Md., sending the Colonials home still winless on the road.
Vogel, though, was upbeat after the game, despite the defeat.
“As frustrating as it is to lose,” Vogel said, “we’re all very happy with how we played.”
Much of Vogel’s positivity stemmed from her squad’s particularly strong second half. After managing only two shots in the first half, the Colonials came out strong after halftime, earning nine shots and forcing Loyola goaltender Danielle Ippolito to make four saves.
“We played the best in the second half and in overtime than we have all season, or all last year,” Vogel said.
Junior Sierra Smidinger, the team leader in both shots and shots on goal, exemplified a late offensive push for the Colonials, registering six shots and putting three shots on goal in the final 53 minutes of play. Graduate student Cara Cadigan also had three shots, as well as a shot on goal.
Vogel was also heartened by the improvements her team made throughout the game, most notably the increased level of physical play the Colonials displayed.
“We’ve been working on physicality,” Vogel said, “because we’ve been getting out-fouled in every game.”
GW committed just five fouls Friday night against Loyola, Md., compared to the Greyhounds’ 16, but even as she attempts to coax more physical play from her team, Vogel said she wanted to avoid having her team earn a reputation as overly-aggressive.
“We don’t want to be cheap or dirty,” Vogel stressed. “We want to be battling hard all game, every game.”
With the team’s unbeaten home record on the line this Tuesday against American University at 4 p.m., Vogel once again stressed that physical play will be crucial as the season progresses.
“We need to continue to focus on physicality,” Vogel said. “And really bring that when we come to play.”