Women’s soccer begins home campaign with a draw

Women’s soccer battled UNC Greensboro to a stalemate Thursday night.

In the 62nd minute, junior midfielder Tori Minda dished the ball to senior midfielder Sammy Neyman who delivered a strike at the top of the box to tie the game.

The Colonials (0-1-2) overcame a single goal deficit against Spartans (1-0-2), marking the second straight tie for GW. After struggling to finish the ball in the first half, the Colonials hit their stride in the second half and found the tying goal but were ultimately unable to find another one to give them their first win of the season.

The game endured a 30-minute delay prior to the start due to severe weather conditions, causing the match to be called five minutes into the first overtime period due to the ensuing darkness.

“I thought in the first half we did a good job of getting in really dangerous positions in front of the goal, but we were slow to pull the trigger or to get a shot off,” head coach Michelle Demko said. “We were looking to enter into the 18 before we tried to shoot. At halftime we talked about that piece in terms of when you face up and you’re anywhere in and around the 18, that’s where we have to be really confident.”

The Colonials controlled the game on the offensive side of the ball, peppering the opposing net with 13 shots on frame out of 18 total. The Spartans put together just eight shots and four on frame but made the most of their opportunities in the 17th minute, executing an odd-man break down the left side of the pitch to go up 1–0 against the home team.

“In terms of that first goal, a little bit out of place on the marking,” Demko said. “Our center back had to come ball side, and then our other wide center back needed to shift and she stayed with her man instead.”

In the second half, the Colonials played penetrating balls into the box and stifled Spartan counterattacks. UNC Greensboro were only able to record a single off-target shot the whole half. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Tamaki Machi racked up just three saves on the day.

The Colonials finally found the equalizing goal 17 minutes into the second half, marking the first goal allowed by Spartan goalkeeper Aiyana Tyler-Cooper who finished the game with 12 saves. Neyman now holds the most goals on the team this season with two thus far while graduate student midfielder Kelly tallied four of five shots on frame to lead the team.

“We had no doubt that we would come back and find a way to put one in the back of the net,” Amador said. “Our attitude going into the locker room was just that our speed of play was good. We were connecting good balls. And again, it was just that final piece that we decided to put one in the back.”

Minda suffered an injury on the field in the final minutes, but Demko said she was unsure if it would sideline her yet. Amador said the team is “growing” into each other with the addition of nine freshmen players and the loss of four seniors last year as they look to improve their chemistry.

“I have a lot of confidence in this team, we haven’t hit our full stride yet and I have full confidence that we will by the time conference comes around,” Amador said.

The Colonials return to the field on Sunday to face off against VCU for their second home matchup. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

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