Less than a minute before halftime, women’s soccer freshman midfielder Kelly Amador broke the 0–0 tie off of a free kick from sophomore defender Deena Desilva.
“That wasn’t even the play we were supposed to do,” Amador said. “But Deena recognized that the gap was there so that’s really all her. I just let it hit off my body.”
The Colonials (8-3-1, 3-1 A-10) added a second goal 10 minutes later and held on to the 2–0 victory over St. Bonaventure (0-11-2, 0-3-1 A-10) Sunday afternoon at the Mount Vernon field.
The win was GW’s third consecutive shutout and eighth victory in the past nine contests. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Miranda Horn faced and saved only three shots in the game.
Despite losing five seniors from last season, Sunday was an example of the newcomer’s contributions that come from up and down the roster, a luxury that Horn said the team is not taking for granted.
“I think it’s fantastic that we have such a young team,” Horn said. “It’s just so promising that we have multiple freshmen scoring goals and coming in and getting minutes all over the field.”
After the game, head coach Sarah Barnes emphasized the importance of the veterans on the team including Horn and captains junior midfielder Mia Barreda and redshirt sophomore defender Megan McCormick.
“As they get more confident and comfortable to control the tempo of the game and communicate and also execute on their side of things, that will bring the level of play up for the whole rest of the team,” Barnes said.
GW dominated the possession for the entirety of the game, using the space in the midfield to play wide balls and allowing the defensive backs to push up in an effort to get into the offensive attack. St. Bonaventure dropped its defenders in deep, but the Colonials were able to space the Bonnies out and find chances in the last third.
“[St. Bonaventure] has a really hard style to play against,” Barnes said. “They had 10 to 11 players back sitting behind the ball most of the game. I think even teams at the highest level struggle against that kind of style.”
The Colonials nearly found themselves behind in the first half when Bonnies forward Sydney Cerza ran onto a through ball that got behind GW’s back four. Horn came off her line to make a leg save and keep the game deadlocked.
“You just have to stay focused,” Horn said. “When we have so much possession you’re not seeing much of the ball, but the game can change just like that. So you have to be moving with the ball and watching the play so that if we do turn it over, I’m ready.”
GW came out looking sharper in the second half, immediately asserting themselves on the ball and squeezing St. Bonaventure in their own side of the field. Combinations from Amador and junior midfielder Sofia Pavon to the wingers led to numerous opportunities for the Colonials.
Barnes said it was important for even the defenders to get involved in the offensive attack when facing a team with the Bonnies’ style.
“I think it’s about the decisions that they make and then their movement after to get the ball back or to move a defender,” she said.
The second goal for GW came when a St. Bonaventure turnover led to a through ball by sophomore forward Sheila Albertson to freshman forward Alexis Williams, who sprinted into the box from the wing and beat the keeper on the near post.
Senior forward Brittany Cooper nearly tallied a goal of her own when her right-footed shot was saved by the Bonnies keeper in the 66th minute. GW would control the pace for the remainder of the game, including taking the ball to the corner flag to kill time in the waning minutes.
The Colonials will travel to Richmond for a road contests against the Spiders Thursday before returning home to take on Saint Louis Sunday.