Women’s soccer (4–3–1) fell to James Madison (3–6–0) 3–0 in GW’s final nonconference matchup Sunday afternoon at the Mount Vernon field.
Playing without sophomore forward Alexis Williams, who sustained a lower-body injury in a game against Maryland last weekend, the Colonials struggled to generate offense. Williams leads the Colonials with four goals and one assist so far this season.
“The biggest difference was JMU’s energy level. We were being reactive instead of proactive and I think that sort of puts you on your back foot,” head coach Michelle Demko said. “When that happens, and then we give up two goals, it’s tough to dig out from under that.”
The first goal of the afternoon came just past the 15-minute mark. Dukes junior forward Haley Crawford made a run down the middle of the box and finished a header off – putting the Dukes up 1–0.
James Madison doubled its lead in the 25th minute when senior forward Brittany Borum cashed in her first goal of the season on a header assisted by junior forward Crawford. The assist was Crawford’s 21st of her career.
The Colonials were stifled in the first 45 minutes by the Dukes’ press on defense. In the opening half, they were outshot 10–3 and committed four fouls while drawing none. Heading into halftime, GW was down 2–0.
“JMU looked like they wanted it more, they looked like they had more energy than we did in the first half,” redshirt junior defender Megan McCormick said. “Ultimately, we were getting out-whipped and that’s not who we are.”
GW came out of the locker room with more energy and more composure on offense. The Colonials began to push the ball into their opponent’s half of the field, firing off five second-half shot attempts to counter six from the Dukes.
But the killer blow came early in the second half. A scramble in front of the net led to the ball getting knocked out of the hands of senior goalkeeper Anna Tapen after she had it secured on the ground. A number of Dukes tried to capitalize on the chance before sophomore midfielder Sophie Brause finally poked the ball into the right corner of the net to give the Dukes a 3–0 lead in the 49th minute.
“The scramble was one of those rugby scrums, where the ball is just bouncing around, and I think moments like that just come down to a willingness to have a huge desire to compete, and unfortunately that third goal was the wind out of the sail,” Demko said.
GW squandered an opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the final 10 minutes of the match. Following a James Madison foul, redshirt sophomore forward Anya Heijst shot wide on a chance at her first goal of the season in the 83rd minute.
After a 4–0–0 start to the season, the Colonials have gone 0–3–1 in their last four games. They have been shutout in each of those games, including two against top-25 opponents No. 10 Georgetown and No. 17 NC State.
“With a loss also comes a gain, so if it’s going to happen on our schedule I would rather it happen in the last nonconference game so that we can identify areas we need to address in training and address as a team,” Demko said. “When these situations potentially arise again, that we can have something to reference.”
The Colonials will open Atlantic 10 play Thursday when they host Rhode Island at 4:30 p.m.