The GW women’s soccer team damaged its chances of earning an Atlantic 10 tournament bid with back-to-back losses over the weekend, falling first 2-1 to Fordham Friday and then to La Salle 1-0 Sunday.
It was the second time in as many weekends that GW was swept in a pair of road games, and the losses pushed the Colonials (9-7, 3-4 A-10) outside of the top six in the conference standings, a group they will have to rejoin if they hope to continue into postseason play.
“I think being away from home and doing all that travel, long bus rides and flights, it took its toll on us. It was the first time all year we had experienced this and it really took us awhile to find ourselves on the road,” head coach Tanya Vogel said.
Down 1-0 after halftime, GW was able to tie the game against Fordham early in the second half when senior Michelle Aueron scored her first goal of the season off an assist from junior Sierra Smidinger. The Colonials kept the game even at one for the next 20 minutes, but were ultimately overpowered when the Rams slipped a shot past junior goalkeeper Lindsey Rowe. The one-goal deficit proved too much for GW, which managed just four shots against the Ram defense.
After the loss, the Colonials strategized for Sunday’s game, determined to improve their play.
“We talked a lot, had a lot of individual and group meetings and we focused on what made us successful and how we felt mentally,” Vogel said. “We showed up with a game plan as to how to return to our earlier season play.”
Sunday, neither GW nor La Salle scored in the first half, and both squads emerged from halftime energized and ready to win. Play got chippy in the second half with a total of ten fouls called between the two teams, but GW found itself again unable to answer an opponent’s second-half goal, leaving the Colonials on the wrong end of a weekend sweep for a second straight week.
Despite the outcome, Vogel was optimistic about improvements in GW’s play from one game to the other. On Sunday, the Colonials put up eleven shots, ten on goal, showing signs of the explosive, high-pressure offensive play that has eluded them on the road for much of the season.
“Today we played more like we can. We’re pissed about the results, but we generated 11 shots, we had so many opportunities and it was a better reflection of who we are,” Vogel said.
After wrapping up its road games for this season, GW returns home this coming weekend for its first home game in two weeks, taking on St. Bonaventure at 3 p.m. Friday and playing its last game of the regular season on Halloween at 1 p.m. against Duquesne.
The pressure will be on for the Colonials, who need to win both games to secure a berth in the A-10 tournament. Vogel is far from nervous about the upcoming games, sounding confident when asked about her team’s outlook.
“Our chances [to make the conference tournament] are really strong. Last year we went into the final week and had to win both games and needed help from other teams. This year, all we have to do is win our games, and it’s all we need to worry about. We need to win both, we win one and we leave a lot to chance,” Vogel said. “We’re so thrilled to be back home, we’ve never been so happy to be back at Foggy Bottom. Now we just need to rally the fans and get some support out there for the team.”