In lieu of fall sports, we’re dusting off the history books and taking a look back on 10 of the best GW sports moments, ever. Here’s to hoping some old-fashioned nostalgia can keep us going until the restart.
No. 10: Women’s soccer snatches 13-game winning streak, program records
The 2015 women’s soccer program went on a historic 13-game winning streak to clinch the Atlantic 10 regular season title for the first time since 1995 and claim their first undefeated season in conference play.
Spurred by then-fourth-year head coach Sarah Barnes, senior defender Brooke Stoller and junior forward MacKenzie Cowley, the Colonials achieved a 15-4 overall record to tie the program-high number of wins set in 1987. The Colonials held the nation’s longest active win streak and dwarfed the previous record of eight consecutive wins in 1998.
After a 2-1 start to the season, the Colonials hit a three-game slide against Drexel, Georgetown and Delaware. Throughout that span, GW netted just two goals and allowed eight. With a dominant 3–0 victory over Liberty the next week, the Colonials simultaneously halted their losing skid and began the longest consecutive win streak in program history.
GW went on to shut out its next two opponents in nonconference play before hosting Saint Joseph’s for its conference debut. The Colonials gained an early lead off a strike from Cowley and scored another goal in the final minutes of the game to complete the shutout.
In the four-game stretch from Sept. 17 through Oct. 1, GW kept a clean sheet and netted two or more goals in each contest. Redshirt sophomore Miranda Horn served as the squad’s primary goalkeeper during the stretch, making 13 saves. Senior goalkeeper Ellen Conway tacked on five more saves to keep opponents scoreless during the stretch.
The Colonials also notched a victory in every single overtime contest for the first time in program history. Conference play saw four of their five overtime matches, with back-to-back battles with St. Bonaventure and La Salle Oct. 4 and 8, respectively, and consecutive extra minutes with George Mason and Rhode Island Oct. 25 and 29, respectively.
Against George Mason, neither team could score throughout two halves of regulation. Conway anchored the team between the pipes after Horn left the game with an injury and made five saves in the second half to carry the squad into extra minutes.
Cowley nearly ended the game in the first half of overtime, but an acrobatic save by redshirt junior goalkeeper Kirsten Glad kept the teams level. Cowley finally put the game to bed in the second overtime after 107 minutes of play.
With a 1–0 win over Saint Louis on their home turf, the Colonials clinched the A-10 regular season crown and the top seed heading into the A-10 Tournament. At the 80-minute mark, Cowley netted her 10th goal of the season to seal the 2015 squad into GW history and top off the team’s perfect 10-0 record in the conference.
The Colonials’ run came to an end in the quarterfinals of the A-10 tournament to No. 8-seeded George Mason. Similar to their first matchup, neither team could generate much offense in the first half as both headed to the locker room scoreless.
GW came out of the second half firing to outshoot the Patriots 7-2, but Glad made a pair of key saves to keep GW scoreless. The Patriots pulled ahead in the 76th minute off a set piece. Despite a few last ditch attempts to score, the Colonials trailed at the final whistle.
The Colonials’ backline played a large role in their regular season success despite the loss of three graduates with more than 1,000 minutes played in 2014. The defense allowed only 15 goals – the fewest in the conference – and posted 12 shutouts in total to rewrite the history books.
Cowley netted 10 goals over the course of the season, including six game-winners to earn A-10 All-Conference First Team honors. She was joined on the A-10 All-Conference First Team by senior midfielder and defender Emily Brown, Horn and Stoller.
Stoller logged the most playing time of any player as the leader of the back line to secure A-10 Defensive Player of the Year – the first Colonial to ever do so. Senior midfielder Kristi Abbate and freshman midfielder and forward Sofia Pavon tacked onto the team’s postseason accolades with A-10 All-Conference Second Team spots. Pavon also earned an A-10 All-Rookie Team nod.