Updated: Sept. 10, 2017 at 7:54 p.m.
The beginning of Sunday’s match against Saint Francis did not go as planned for women’s soccer.
Just over a minute after the starting whistle blew, the Colonials (3-2-1) found themselves trailing the Red Flash (2-5-0) before getting the ball out of their own defensive half.
But in the 81st minute, after a shot from junior midfielder Sofia Pavon neutralized the game before halftime, freshman midfielder Alexis Williams scored the game-winning goal to give the Colonials their third win in a row – beating Saint Francis 2–1.
“I was trying to fake out the player and then go right,” Williams said. “I looked up and saw there was space and that [Pavon] was making the run in so I was trying to find her. It just so happened it went in the goal.”
The Colonials ended the game with a 27-7 shooting advantage over the Red Flash – the most shots GW has taken in a game all season. Pavon’s goal was her team-leading third of the year.
Head coach Sarah Barnes said she was happy with her team’s offensive possession since they have been focusing on it throughout the season.
“We really thought big gaps of space would open up and it was about making good decisions and players making sharp movements into those spaces,” Barnes said. “I thought that we did that, we were able to keep the ball and move all around the field.”
Senior forward Brittany Cooper had a team-high seven shots and two assists against Saint Francis – breaking her own personal record for shots and assists in a game.
“I don’t care if I don’t score as long as I’m assisting and helping my team,” Cooper said. “As long as we’re winning it’s whatever.”
Saint Francis’s first goal came when senior midfielder Gabi Morales placed a cross from the right side of the field into the box. Sophomore forward Alyssa McGhee flicked the ball with her head past redshirt senior goalkeeper Miranda Horn to put the Red Flash up 1–0.
“We didn’t let it affect us,” junior defender Dani Frese said. “We were just like, ‘Ok, we’ll do better next time,’ and we felt good about it. We weren’t down about it.”
Thirteen minutes later, a give-and-go sequence between Cooper and Pavon drew out the Saint Francis goalkeeper from the line. Pavon snuck a long, low shot from just outside the box into the back of the net.
Cooper and Pavon both tallied two shots a piece in the first half and a total of nine different players on the field found the shots column.
Nine minutes into the second half, Cooper had a chance to break the stalemate when she received a cross from Williams in front of the Red Flash’s goal, but her back-heel shot went just wide of the net.
Despite controlling the ball for the majority of the second half, the Colonials finally found the back of the net again with nine minutes remaining in the game.
After receiving a pass from Cooper, Williams – who was initially looking to pass – scored the game-winner. The finish was Williams’ second goal of her career.
The Colonials return to action Thursday against Delaware State on the road. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Heading into the next game, Barnes said she wants her team to start picking up their heads and being more aware of the players on the field.
“It is not rocket science, this is basic stuff,” Barnes said. “As soon as we have a team who can be more aware of where space is, where defenders are and where the ball might go we are probably going to be a good goal scoring team.”
This post was updated to reflect the following corrections:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported Pavon and Cooper shot four shots a piece, they each shot twice. Junior defender Dani Frese’s last name was spelt incorrectly. We regret these errors.