Women’s soccer captures overtime victory over Dayton

Media Credit: Keegan Mullen | Senior Staff Photographer

Sophomore forward Anya Heijst chases down the ball during Sunday's game against Dayton.

After regulation ended with the match knotted at zero, it took women’s soccer just nine minutes of extra time to beat the Dayton defense and earn a win.

The Colonials (9–6–1, 5–3 A-10) defeated the Flyers (7–7–2, 3–4 A-10) 1–0 Sunday afternoon at home to earn their fifth Atlantic 10 victory. They outshot the Flyers 20–10 on the game, including 13 shots on goal.

“These type of moments are great long-term for us, in terms of learning how to fight and learning how to win certain moments in the game, which will give us momentum,” head coach Michelle Demko said.

The game-winner came in the 99th minute when senior forward Sofia Pavon passed the ball to the feet of sophomore midfielder Natalie Silberman, who broke through the Dayton defense and one-touched the ball into the back of the net.

Pavon led the team with five shots, including three on goal, followed by Silberman’s three shots, all of which were on frame.

The first half was a stalemate for both sides. The Colonials and the Flyers traded shots and scoring chances, but remained in a 0–0 deadlock.

Keegan Mullen | Senior Staff Photographer

Team members embrace Natalie Silberman, who scored the winning goal in the final minutes of overtime play.

In the sixth minute, Dayton senior goalkeeper Kaelyn Johns failed to clear the ball, kicking it straight into Pavon. Pavon settled the ball, made a swift move around a Flyer defender, and shot a rocket at the right corner of the net. But Johns made a diving save, preventing the Colonials from getting on the board early.

“We tried to keep everything just compact,” Pavon said. “We wanted to make sure we flew on all second balls and keep making sure that no matter what, we worked back and tried to get in front of the ball as much as possible.”

In the second half, Dayton tested the Colonials defense. The Flyers attempted two corner kicks and three shots in three minutes. Senior goalkeeper Anna Tapen stepped up when the team needed her, punching a Flyer cross away from the goal and securing two of their shots.

But neither team was able to break through the other’s defense and the game was sent into overtime.

At the start of extra time, the Colonials kept the ball on Dayton’s side of the pitch, earning two corner kicks and shooting twice in a span of three minutes. GW’s defense held strong and the goalkeeper earned her sixth shutout of the season, while Silberman pushed forward to put the Colonials on the board and win the game.

“We just wanted high pressure and high pressure the entire way,” Silberman said. “And that’s what we did and how we scored.”

GW, in seventh place in the conference, earned three points with the win, separating itself further from the eighth-place Flyers. Only eight teams advance to the A-10 Championship at the end of the season, making mid-October games decide the last-minute seeding.

“It’s huge for us,” Demko said. “We needed this. This was a battle between No. 7 and No. 8. For us to pick up the points over the team that’s right behind us is huge in terms of energy, momentum, confidence.”

With two games left in A-10 play, GW will take on last-place Davidson and first-place Saint Louis to close out its season over the next week.

“We are going to enjoy it today, but we really turn our attention to, the staff will turn our attention right when we leave here to our opponent Thursday,” Demko said.

The Colonials host the Davidson Wildcats Thursday at 3 p.m.

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