After a shaky first half, women’s soccer turned around its play and won its second game of the season 1–0 over Towson Thursday.
The score was tied until the 51st minute, when junior midfielder Sofia Pavon launched a shot from 20 yards out to give the Colonials (2-2-1) their second consecutive clean sheet.
“Towson is always a tough opponent,” redshirt sophomore Megan McCormick said. “We knew that they would come out really hard so we knew we had to match their intensity or even pass it.”
Despite the win, the Colonials were outshot by the Tigers (3-3-1) 13-8. Pavon ended the night leading the team taking four of their eight shots on goal. Freshman midfielder Kelly Amador and junior forward Charley Prevost both contributed a shot a piece in the game.
The Colonials were on their heels during the first half, with the defense putting in work to hold back a persistent Tiger offense.
GW’s best opportunity to score in the first half came with 13 minutes left before the break when sophomore midfielder Olivia Di Cristofaro’s crossed the ball from the left side of the penalty box. The pass found the head of senior forward Brittany Cooper, who headed it just wide of the net.
Cooper ended the night with two shots to her name.
After 45 minutes of play, redshirt senior goalkeeper Miranda Horn tallied three saves to help keep the score tied before the half. At the break, the Tigers had taken five corner kicks to one from the Colonials.
Head coach Sarah Barnes said the team needed to put more pressure on Towson’s midfield at the break, especially the players serving long balls over the defensive line.
“They did a better job of in the second half,” Barnes said. “Certainly we won more 50-50 balls, more second balls and competed better I thought than we did in the first half and I thought that was the difference in the game.”
The Colonials found the scoreboard six minutes into the second half.
A pass from junior midfielder Mia Barreda found the foot of Pavon, who turned, faced the net and launched the eventual game-winner past Towson redshirt senior goalkeeper Taylor Sebolao, who didn’t have time to react to the shot.
The goal is Pavon’s team-leading second goal of the season. Before the game Barnes offered Pavon – who leads the team in shots – some words of advice.
“Coach told me not to shoot at the goalie,” Pavon said.
The Tigers almost found the scoreboard with 28 minutes remaining in the game when a shot from Towson sophomore forward Elizabeth Coletti was saved by an off-balance Horn, who caught the ball between her legs while on the ground.
Emotions on the field reached a boiling point a few minutes later when both teams thought the referee was missing calls. Towson defender Alexis Toles was given the game’s only yellow card in the 68th minute.
To close out the match, the Colonials kept the Tigers on their toes, spending the last five minutes of the game putting pressure on Towson’s defensive half.
With just over a minute left before the horn, GW had a chance to find the scoreboard again. Pavon passed the ball through the Tiger’s defensive line to junior forward Caitlin Sullivan, whose shot was deflected just wide of the net.
Heading into the next few games, Barnes said she wants her team to work on preventing unforced turnovers.
“Certainly we need to get a couple wins under our belts,” she said. “I think that we’ve played enough to have wins prior to this, but there is a big difference between being in a position to win and actually getting the win.”
The Colonials continue their homestand Sunday, when they face off against Saint Francis (Pa.). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.