Women’s soccer defeats Old Dominion in overtime to cap perfect weekend

Media Credit: Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against an Old Dominion player on Aug. 24. Hatchet File Photo

Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against an Old Dominion player on Aug. 24. Hatchet File Photo

Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against an Old Dominion player. Cameron Lancaster |  Photo Editor
Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against Old Dominion midfielder Devin Dougherty. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Scott Nover

After an easy 6-0 victory against Mount St. Mary’s in its season opener, the women’s soccer team needed extra time Sunday to finish off Old Dominion, escaping with a 1-0 win.

GW forward Kyla Ridley scored the game-winning goal at the beginning of overtime, canceling out the underwhelming ninety minutes of regular time and giving the Colonials the edge over the visiting Monarchs.

While the Colonials tried to control a high-intensity passing game, their efforts were consistently thwarted by mistakes in the midfield. Luckily for GW, the defense, headlined by senior co-captain Alex Brothers, was ruthless in clearing out the box. Redshirt freshman Miranda Horn shutout ODU in front of the net, amounting five saves in just under 92 minutes of action.

The Monarchs outshot the Colonials 5-2 in the opening half, with two ODU shots hitting on target. Monarchs goalkeeper Erin Kinz saw no action between the posts from the Colonials offense during the first half.

“I thought our movement wasn’t good enough,” head coach Sarah Barnes said. “It wasn’t fast enough, we didn’t change direction and change speed fast enough, so I think we were pretty predictable because of that and it made it easy for them to mark us. I think they did a good job defensively to close gaps, but we didn’t do enough work and we didn’t think fast enough and smart enough to really open things up. I think that was the biggest problem.”

The second half saw far fewer errors in the midfield and better ball movement to aid the attack. Junior midfielder Brooke Bean led GW in stopping the ODU charge and redirecting play ahead of her.

Though GW was unable to find the back of the net in the second half, the Colonials’ offense gained momentum and was able to create more chances. At the end of the second half, with overtime approaching, Barnes told her team that aggressive play was key to taking the game.

“I think we had been creating better chances and so our thought process was, right away, we have to be aggressive, move the ball forward, and see if we can be dangerous right from the start,” Barnes said. A lot of the time, these overtime games get one really early or they go to the end. So I thought they did a really good job of just keeping the momentum going.

As per NCAA rules, after the two sides ended the second half in a 0-0 score, the game entered a golden goal overtime scenario.

The Colonials needed less than two minutes before Ridley drove a shot into the box, which curled into the top left corner of the goal to give GW its second-straight victory of the season.

“I thought it was nice,” Ridley said. “I just took it with my left foot and just sort of bent it around and put it to goal. And I was like, ‘Wow.’ I didn’t expect that really with my left foot, but it went in.”

The Colonials play their next game on the road Friday against Loyola University Maryland.

Game Note: Freshman defender Danielle Snajder limped off the field with an apparent leg injury. Barnes said Snajder appeared in good shape, but had yet to check with the trainer following the match.

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