GW women’s soccer coach Tanya Vogel’s high expectations for her team were on full display Thursday afternoon. The Colonials had just bested American for the second year in a row by a score of 2-1. The win was GW’s (3-3) fifth game in a row decided by a single goal, and kept alive the team’s undefeated streak at home.
Yet, as Vogel stood on the field watching her players celebrate their win, brow furrowed, she spoke pointedly about her team’s performance against the Eagles. She talked about how her team needed to be tougher and develop a commanding style of play.
“I was not happy with our first half, ” Vogel said. “Our physicality in the first half was not good, we were soft.”
Vogel was especially frustrated with her team’s unwillingness to challenge American and said that while that effort might have earned GW a victory Thursday, it would not, in the long run, make the Colonials a formidable opponent.
“We gotta be willing to tackle, we gotta be willing to compete, and we gotta be willing to win balls,” Vogel said. “If we don’t, we’re going to allow other teams to come in and slowly but surely barrel over us.”
American took the lead early in the first half, with senior Friederike Engel scoring off a teammate’s corner kick to put the Eagles up by one. The Colonials battled back, however, and before the half was out, GW senior Ashley Starks pushed the ball in the net to tie the game heading into halftime.
The Colonials returned for the second half re-energized and determined to take control. Junior goalkeeper Lindsey Rowe was especially pleased with her team’s performance in the second half, saying that heading into it, the team knew it was “important to stay positive, stay physical and keep fighting.”
GW put more pressure on American in the second half, battling for balls and creating plays that ultimately allowed the Colonials to take the lead on senior Kristen Slack’s goal midway through the half, putting GW up 2-1 off an assist from senior Michelle Aueron.
“It makes complete sense that we can talk about it at halftime, sort things out and come back and not have the same mistakes happen,” Rowe said of her team’s second-half resurgence.
Vogel agreed, adding that her team, “did an excellent job in the second half putting the pressure on and making a statement. We needed to be able to score more than one goal in a game, and we were able to do that today.”
She was also pleased that the team continued their undefeated streak at home.
“One of the opportunities we thought we had at the beginning of the season was to dominate at home, and the girls have done that so far,” Vogel said.
Coming up this weekend, the Colonials will seek their first road win of the season when they travel to Delaware for the Blue Hens Classic. GW will take on Drexel Friday at 5 p.m. and then Delaware Sunday at 2 p.m.