In the last home game of the regular season, women’s soccer had a chance to earn another win at home Sunday afternoon.
The Colonials (10-4-4, 5-2-3 A-10), who already secured spot in the Atlantic 10 tournament, needed a win Sunday afternoon against Duquesne (10-5-3, 6-3-1 A-10) in order to host in the first round of the conference tournament.
But neither the Dukes nor the Colonials were able to find the scoreboard in regulation or either overtime period, and the game finished 0–0. Both teams came close to conceding in the match, but were unable to break through each other’s defensive lines.
“We did some very good last-ditch defending,” redshirt senior goalkeeper Miranda Horn said. “We got a little bit lucky but that happens so I think we recovered from our mistakes pretty well.”
Horn – who became the program’s all-time career shutout leader in the team’s tie against Dayton last week – made eight saves on the day and hasn’t conceded a goal in nine contests. She earned her 31st career clean sheet in the draw.
Senior forward Brittany Cooper and junior midfielder Sofia Pavon led the team with four shots each, followed by sophomore defender Deena DeSilva with three.
The Dukes tallied 14 shots to the Colonials’ 15 after 110 minutes, but they led the game in corner kicks. Duquesne led 14-5 on total corners, using them to cause defensive problems for GW.
“We have to be better on the corner kicks,” head coach Sarah Barnes said. “They got their head on too many, we didn’t win a lot of them straight out and so that’s something we’re going to have to focus on.”
The Colonials’ best chance to net a goal came in the 64th minute, when Pavon was brought down in the Dukes’ penalty box resulting in a penalty kick for GW.
DeSilva’s spot kick bounced off the right goal post and ricocheted across the net before being cleared out by the Duquesne defense.
It was a defensive battle in the first half. The Colonials only tallied four shots in the opening 45 minutes and the Dukes also struggled, with only two shots finding the frame.
The Colonials first opportunity to find the scoreboard came in the 31st minute. After a Duquesne defender made a bad clear, sophomore forward Sheila Albertson took a shot that sent Dukes goalkeeper Kyra Murphy jumping – but went wide left.
The Colonials kept up the high pressure heading into the break.
With less than 90 seconds left on the clock, freshman midfielder Tuhina Dasgupta served a ball over the defensive line to the feet of Pavon, who beat two defenders and took a shot that was just barely blocked by Murphy.
After the break the Colonials and the Dukes went shot-for-shot in the second half.
In the 56th minute, the Dukes had their best opportunity to score.
A Duquesne corner kick bounced off the bottom of the top goal post, behind Horn, and right on the goal line before the keeper collected the bounce. The play had Duquesne’s coach calling for a goal, but the referee said the ball never crossed the line.
“There were a lot of times we weren’t sure if we were clearing it, or trying to pass it to someone, or if I was coming out or if somebody was coming back so I think sorting out the communication will really, really help,” Horn said.
The Dukes nearly came away with the win again in the final 10 seconds of the first overtime half.
Another corner kick by the Dukes sent GW into a scramble in the box. Horn made two back-to-back saves as the ball bounced in front of the net before being cleared away.
“We’ve conceded one goal in the last nine games and so it speaks to the effort and attention to detail defensively,” Barnes said. “But I think we’ve got to be a bit more dynamic and just execute, bottom line.”
The Colonials will face off against Duquesne again in the A-10 Championships as the No. 5 seed Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. in Pittsburgh.