Women’s soccer notches second straight win of the season

Media Credit: Sydney Walsh | Photographer

Defense Hannah Zaluski chases after the ball during Thursday's game against Liberty University. The Colonials beat the Eagles 3–2.

Women’s soccer earned its second straight win of the season Thursday in a victory over Liberty.

After splitting the first two games of the season, the Colonials (2-1) hosted the Flames (1-3-1) in their first home game of the season. Two defenders, redshirt senior Meghan McCormick and sophomore Madi Coyne helped secure the win, but an own-goal by the Flames sealed Colonial’s 3–2 win.

Head coach Michelle Demko said the second consecutive win gives the squad “a little bit” of momentum heading into a game against Maryland Saturday.

“To do that against a good, organized, hard Liberty team is great for us today,” Demko said, referring to the win.

Redshirt senior defender Megan McCormick gave the Colonials an early lead five minutes into play with her first goal of the season, making good on an assist by sophomore midfielder Sammy Neyman.

McCormick’s goal was followed by 18 minutes of scoreless play, with only one Liberty shot firing through the Colonials’ backline. But Liberty sophomore forward/midfielder Kasey Jamieson broke through and tied the game, scoring the first goal of her collegiate career.

GW returned to the pitch after half-time with renewed vigor, reclaiming its lead within the first six minutes of the second frame with a goal by sophomore defender Madi Coyne. Nearly three minutes later, the Colonials tacked on a team goal thanks to an assist from redshirt junior forward Rachel Sorkenn.

McCormick said three goals scored by three different players is a show of the team’s depth and balance in offensive play.

“We’re not necessarily relying on one person, and if something happens to that one person for the rest of the season, it’s OK because we have other people who are ready to fill in,” McCormick said.

The Flames crept close to GW’s lead late in the second half after Jamieson scored her second goal. Another shot on goal a few minutes later almost tied the contest, but the Colonial’s backline and redshirt goalkeeper Tamaki Machi held strong.

Machi ended the contest with her best performance to date, owning eight saves and allowing two goals in ten shots on goal.

“Communicating with the defenders really helped me organize the backline,” Machi said. “It’s easier to play with them, so it helped me make those saves.”

Demko said Machi’s skilled footwork and ability to accurately diffuse offensive threats has made her a beneficial addition to the team.

“Tamaki’s role, that is so important to us, is that she’s very good with her feet,” Demko said. “She reads the game really well in a defensive third when she needs to come and clear the ball.”

GW recorded a season-high 11 fouls on the day compared to Liberty’s seven. Demko said her squad came prepared, and the highly competitive nature of both teams can result in aggressive play.

“In terms of the physical battle, we’re getting into that a little more and not shying away from that,” Demko said. “Going in hard to tackles is part of the game, and we knew going into this game that Liberty is not going to back down from anything.”

The Colonials remain at home for the second of their four-game homestand against Maryland Sunday at 1 p.m.

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