Women’s soccer snapped its four-game winning streak Sunday afternoon after the Saint Louis Billikens scored on a corner kick with just under 40 seconds to play in the game.
The Colonials (9-4-1, 4-2-0 A-10) played Saint Louis (12-1-2, 4-1-1 A-10) evenly for 89 minutes, but conceded after a surge of pressure from the Billikens forced junior defender Dani Frese to put the ball out of play with 36 seconds remaining in the game.
On the following corner, Saint Louis midfielder Courtney Reimer swung a low, driven cross into the center of the box, where Billikens sophomore defender Alli Klug headed it past GW redshirt senior goalkeeper Miranda Horn at the near post.
“It is a very difficult play the way they drive it in,” head coach Sarah Barnes said. “I think it was an unnecessary corner kick that we conceded. Obviously the easy answer is not to concede a corner in the last minute of the game.”
The shutout was the first time the Colonials had failed to score since losing to LSU in August.
The Billikens outshot GW 10-8 for the game, and had six shots on goal to the Colonials’ five. Both sides had multiple opportunities early in the game. Senior forward Brittany Cooper had a free header in the middle of the box in the seventh minute, but her effort was wide of the post. The Billikens nearly scored on a counter in the 34th minute, but they couldn’t get a good touch at the back post, and the ball flew over the crossbar.
The Colonials controlled the momentum in the first half, as Saint Louis was comfortable dropping back and organizing their defense while trying to attack on the counter. The back line had some success playing long balls through to Cooper, junior midfielder Sofia Pavon and freshman midfielder Alexis Williams, but Barnes said the team wasn’t aggressive enough.
“The way that they came out was really, I think, an advantage for us,” Barnes said. “And I didn’t think we took advantage of it at all. I thought we had opportunities to play through them, and I think we looked a little timid.”
The second half turned into a more physical battle as Saint Louis pressed forward. Both teams struggled to maintain possession and win important 50-50 balls.
“It’s really important to have support,” junior defender and captain Megan McCormick said. “In practice we stress winning those 50-50 balls and going the other way to try and get a shot off.”
Cooper would have another opportunity in the 54th minute after she snuck behind the Billikens back line and received a pass from sophomore midfielder Olivia Di Cristofaro.
But the Saint Louis goalkeeper came off her line and met Cooper’s shot straight and the Billikens cleared the danger away. It was another missed opportunity in an afternoon that seemed to be full of them, Barnes said.
“Too many times, we had it and had a pass to make, and we missed it,” Barnes said.
The Colonials will look to bounce back against Saint Joseph’s at home Thursday at 3:30 p.m.