This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Sophia Omuemu.
With five minutes left in play, the Colonials were tied at 10 against the Richmond Spiders. Then, sophomore Jenn Seitz was able to win one of the most important draw controls of the game, directly leading to the Colonials’ one point victory, 11-10.
“We told them that this is our time and to relax. We scored and then we came up with a huge draw at the end,” head coach Tara Hannford said.
The Colonials burst into the first half of play by showing off their patient yet quick passing. After sending a series of cutters through the middle of the box, freshman Olivia Boudreau was able to maneuver her way towards the goal, with an assist from sophomore Jamie Bumgardner.
Bumgardner followed after with a straight shot to the goal increasing GW’s lead to 2-0. But despite not having a single point on the board, the Spiders continued to keep calm, which led to their first goal off of a free position shot.
Still, Hannaford said, the Colonials weren’t discouraged. Their recent performances, the head coach said, help the team stay positive throughout play.
“I think our team is on a upswing right now. We’re getting better every game, so I think it’s a tribute to how hard our team works,” Hannaford said.
The next 10 minutes of play consisted of two goals from each team. Senior attack Nicole Lacey netted her 23rd goal of the season of off a free position shot. Five minutes later, the Spiders replied, but GW was able to keep its one-point lead with a goal from sophomore Rachel Mia.
Prior the end of the first half, Lacey tallied another goal with 1.4 seconds left. Both teams had attempted seven shots and obtained three draw controls, previewing the close second half that was to come.
“This was a huge turning point game because it was our first A-10 game. It sets the tone,” said Lacey. “Richmond is usually at the top of all of the teams so this was a huge win for us.”
The importance of draw controls was apparent within the first 30 seconds of the second half. Richmond was able to score two goals within the first two minutes due to both of its draw wins.
The score was tied at six when Lacey was able to net her third goal of the game to give the Colonials another one-point lead. But in order to keep this lead, it was apparent that the team’s defense was going to have to stay alert and strong.
“I think we had a lot of different people scoring, so they couldn’t mark one person and stop us so the fact that everyone contributed was good,” Lacey said.
Senior goalkeeper Jess Hicks continued to make huge saves, while both teams traded goals. Hicks ended the game with seven saves, four of which were in the second half.
“Defensively, we were really prepared for our goal line extended shot and I think they only had one successful shot. We did a really good job denying that shot,” Lacey said.
After eight minutes of several turnovers and fouls, Mia was able to bounce the ball into the left side of the goal. Then, the Spiders replied with two strong goals, which led to the third tie of the game.
The Colonials took a timeout to regroup and think of a final game plan. Both coaches knew that the winner of the next draw control could ultimately decide the final score.
“[Hannaford] told us that we just really had to stay composed and the draw was really important. It would give us moment,” Boudreau said.
There was a sense of urgency in the air that led to some sloppy play- but Boudreau ultimately was able to net the game-winning goal through the Richmond goalkeeper’s legs with just two minutes left in play.