After 27 minutes of several turnovers, fouls and ground balls in the second half of Sunday’s game, the Colonials finally netted a goal, cutting Duquesne’s lead to one.
But the rally was short-lived. The Dukes were able to hold off the Colonials over the final three minutes, and GW ultimately fell 6-5 to its Atlantic 10 opponent.
Despite the loss, GW (8-6, 3-2 A-10) ended the weekend 1-1 after an impressive 19-7 victory over St. Bonaventure Friday. In their opening game of the weekend, the Colonials showcased the sort of aggressive play that has become their hallmark this season.
“We have to realize that we need to come out ready to play with intensity because that is what has gotten us here. We have to remember that,” head coach Tara Hannaford said.
Within the first three minutes of play Friday, the Bonnies netted their first goal of the game. Sophomore Jamie Bumgardner quickly replied with an unassisted goal two minutes later.
St. Bonaventure had a one-point lead when the Colonials went on a 5-0 run. Senior Nicole Lacey and freshman Olivia Boudreau sparked the run with two back-to-back unassisted goals in a 65-second span.
“We got some really good opportunities,” Hannaford said. “We just had to remember to keep attacking.”
Another series of back-to-back goals began with Boudreau’s assist to junior Terasa Vassallo, who put GW up 4-2, followed by sophomore Allie Rash’s goal 32 seconds later. Rash led the Colonials with a career-high seven points on three goals and four assists.
As the first half wound to an end, the Colonials were able to go on another 5-0 run that kept St. Bonaventure at bay and gave them a seven-point edge at the break.
“The biggest part of our game is making smart decisions and that’s something that will carry us through a game,” senior goalkeeper Jess Hicks said.
Despite the comfortable lead, GW entered the second half strong when junior Jordy Bathras netted the first Colonial goal of the half followed by Rash, sophomore Rachel Mia, and Lacey within a 12-minute span.
The Colonials’ impressive offensive was matched with a strong defensive effort as well. Hicks made six stops during her almost 49 minutes of play.
GW returned Sunday for their final home game of the regular season against the Dukes.
The Colonials started the game off quickly with two goals from Bumgardner and Lacey, but the Dukes then tallied three goals of their own after a series of quick but patient passing.
“Offensively, we got the two fast goals which was great. Obviously, all over the field that exuded a lot of confidence. They were moving the ball, being patient, and making smart decisions,” Hicks said.
With 18 minutes left in the first half, junior Lindsey DiAntonio tied the game 3-3. Both teams picked up their intensity and aggression, leading to 17 fouls, respectively, in the first half.
At the end of the first half, the Dukes had netted two more goals to increase their lead by two points, 6-4. The Colonials had made seven shot attempts, compared to the Dukes’ 10, while Hicks had three saves compared to the Dukes’ goalkeeper’s zero. The discrepancy, Hannaford said, came from GW’s struggle to control its possessions.
“[I told them] to increase the intensity and raise our level of focus. We had too many turnovers in the transition game,” Hannaford said.
The second half of play consisted of only three points being put on the board. Duquesne netted the first goal after 15 minutes of play. Two minutes later, Rash followed with her 11th goal of the season.
The Colonials quickly adjusted their defense when they realized that the Dukes were attempting to waste as much time as possible and run down the clock with a two-goal lead. Despite their effort, GW was not able to score the last goal of the game until two minutes and 24 seconds were left in regulation, unable to overcome the two-goal hole in the final minutes of play.
“As we went on, I think people got a little frantic,” Hicks said. “Their goalkeeper did a good job and I think that can sometimes ruffle our feathers a little bit.”
The team will face off at Temple and Saint Joseph’s in their final regular season games next weekend.