GW opens A-10 play with weekend sweep

After opening its season by going 6-3 in its non-conference games, the women’s soccer team opened its Atlantic 10 schedule over the weekend, topping Temple Friday and Saint Joseph’s Sunday, both by scores of 2-1.

The wins extended the Colonials’ win streak to six and kept GW undefeated at home so far this season. Even after the pair of wins, though, head coach Tanya Vogel was quick to put her team’s weekend performance in perspective.

“Winning a game in the Atlantic 10 conference is really difficult and so we have our work cut out for us,” Vogel said.

In Saturday’s match against Temple, the Colonials took the lead at the end of the first half with a pair of goals from freshman Alex Neal, who scored the game’s first goal in the 40th minute and put GW up 2-0 just four minutes later off an assist from sophomore Molly Bruh.

“I thought we played very well in the sense that we had a game plan, and I think that especially in the first half, but even still in the second half, we were able to execute,” Vogel said of her team’s play against the Owls.

Against what Vogel described as a “very tough” Saint Joseph’s squad Sunday, GW jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from graduate student Cara Cadigan in the 29th minute and added a second goal when freshman Claire Haft scored in the 60th minute.

More than its offensive output, Vogel said she was impressed with her team’s physicality and toughness.

“At 22 minutes, we had a series of 5 tackles in a row. When we did that we made a statement that said, ‘This is our field and we win when we are on this field,'” the coach said.

Cadigan, whose goal against the Hawks was her second of the season, said that her team’s ability to consistently press Saint Joseph’s was key to her team’s victory.

“We kept pressure on them for ninety minutes and that was most important,” Cadigan said.

Despite the team’s success, Vogel still saw room for improvement, pointing to GW’s struggles to keep its opponents from scoring and climbing back into games after falling behind 2-0.

“The last two games we have been up two goals and we have relinquished [part of] that lead because we haven’t been able to maintain our style of play,” Vogel said. “We are going to work on being up and on how you maintain that lead and maintain that confidence, speed of play and you eliminate panic from your vocabulary.”

The Colonials will hit the road this weekend for a game Friday at Richmond. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m.

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