Junior Adriana Moya was determined to avenge a disappointing 4-1 loss to Iowa when she and her teammates took the field again two days later. Her chance came in the 34th minute of GW’s match against Robert Morris.
Moya watched the field intently until she was able to capitalize on a series of midfield passes, lining a long goal from outside the box. It was the first Colonials score of the game, providing the impetus for the offensive explosion that ended in a 5-1 victory.
It looked as if two different squads took the field, a difference senior Sierra Smidinger credited to the Colonials (2-3) ability to keep their focus solely on the game at hand.
“We played great [Sunday],” Smidinger said “We put the Iowa game behind us. Our motto is to focus on the next game.”
Friday’s match saw the Colonials enter the half down 1-0 and lose their focus in the second. GW gave up a penalty kick in the 51st minute that led to an easy goal for the Hawkeyes, opening the floodgates for Iowa’s offense to add two more goals before the Colonials could post a point of their own.
Freshman forward Taylor Katz added a goal in the 66th minute that put GW on the scoreboard, but her efforts weren’t enough to push the Colonials past the dominant Hawkeyes, who posted a 16-9 shot advantage. Head coach Tanya Vogel attributed the team’s struggle to a lack of focus during Friday’s match.
“What we are trying to figure out is what our identity is,” Vogel said. “So when you step out on that field against an opponent that has a big name, if you allow them to force their identity on you, then you have to expect that this happens to you.”
GW took the field Sunday seeking its second victory of the season. The Colonials controlled the tempo of play for most of the first half against Robert Morris, challenging the defense early with long shots and crosses and keeping the RMU goalkeeper off guard.
GW stepped up the play in the second half, attacking the Robert Morris defense with long crosses that led to easy goals. Sophomore Alex Neal barreled past the Robert Morris goalkeeper and a defender to score an empty net goal, and Smidinger added a goal of her own in the 53rd minute. Just six minutes later, junior Molly Bruh put GW up 4-0, and Smidinger capped the offensive onslaught with a second goal in the 77th minute.
Overall, the Colonials posted a season-high 16 shots, capitalizing on their offensive effort with an equally strong defense that held Robert Morris to just seven shots on goal. RMU scored off a penalty kick late in the second, but were unable to overcome the pressure applied by GW, a record of play Vogel said was spearheaded by the team’s upperclassmen.
“Our veterans performed amazingly today. Our back line was phenomenal and led to great offense,” Vogel said “They were great today at being role models for our new players. Today was a big day for our team.”
The Colonials will try to build on their momentum when they travel to Annapolis, Md. for the Navy Invitational, playing Davidson Sept. 9 at 4 p.m.
This article was updated on Sept. 6, 2011 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that GW lost 4-0 to Iowa. The correct score was 4-1. We regret this error.