Women’s soccer falls to crosstown rival American

Media Credit: Phebe Grosser | Staff Photographer

GW is back in action Thursday, starting a four-game road swing with a matchup against Towson at 7 p.m.

Women’s soccer remains winless after dropping another game to American Sunday afternoon at the Mount Vernon Campus.

The Colonials (0-4-2) out-shot the Eagles (3-2-0) 21-11 but could not find a way to beat freshman goalkeeper Julia Kato in a 2-0 shutout, marking the first time GW has lost at home to American since 2004.

“We’ve got to continue to just be really committed and training to put ourselves in opportunities and environments where we’re getting in front of the net and we have to finish and put goals in the back of the net,” head coach Michelle Demko said.

Graduate student forward Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky led GW with five shots while senior midfielder Sammy Neyman and freshman midfielder Abby Mansoor tallied four apiece.

On the Eagles’ side of the pitch, senior forward Juliana Saling and junior midfielder Jordan Tate took home a goal each while Kato pulled out nine saves to keep the clean sheet.

The Colonials got started early into the game, fashioning a chance off of a corner kick three minutes in. An Eagles defender met the initial cross with her head but the ball fell kindly for graduate student forward Kelly Amador, who sailed her effort over the bar.

American nearly scored just a minute later after redshirt junior goalkeeper Tamaki Machi misjudged a deflected cross from the left side, but the ball rolled just along the goal line, allowing Machi to scramble back and claim it.

The Eagles continued to probe the Colonials’ defense with quick interplay down the right side, forcing Machi into a low save with 35 minutes left in the half to keep the scores level.

American finally broke the deadlock in the 14th minute with a short corner routine that opened up a crossing opportunity. The ball was played into the near post and Machi came out to gather it but Saling got there first and managed to redirect the ball into the net to put them up 1–0.

GW’s best chance of the first half came when Neyman got free inside the penalty area, but her low shot missed the target with only the goalkeeper to beat.

The Colonials kept up the offensive pressure as the half wound down as Danyko-Kulchycky cut in from the right wing and tried her luck from outside the box to force a save from Kato.

At halftime both sides registered seven shots. The Colonials landed five of those on target while American had just two, but the visitors remained ahead by a goal to nil.

“The first half we gave too many unopposed balls away, to be quite honest,” Demko said. “I think our sense of urgency was pretty low so we talked about it at halftime and just talked about it in terms of fixing a couple things where we changed our formation a bit to give us a little bit more structure in the back to allow us to get numbers and go forward a bit.”

GW nearly equalized in the 56th minute when junior midfielder Isabelle Eskay’s curling effort from the edge of the area rattled the crossbar and bounced clear. Soon after the Colonials had another clean look at goal in the 58th minute but Mansoor sliced her shot over the net from the top of the box.

The onslaught continued when Danyko-Kulchycky cut inside on her right foot and flashed a shot a few yards outside of the top right corner just a minute afterward.

GW’s high press forced a dangerous turnover outside of American’s box in the 65th minute but Amador’s header from the resulting cross looped high and wide of Kato’s goal.

Mansoor had another chance to draw the Colonials level in the 75th minute when she was left unmarked from six yards out but her header was a comfortable save for Kato.

The Colonials were ultimately punished for not finishing their chances as American doubled its lead and put the game to bed in the 82nd minute.

Eagles Junior forward Fisayo Iluyomade broke down the right wing on a counter-attack and played an early through-ball to Tate for a one-on-one against Machi. The goalkeeper got a hand on Tate’s low shot but could not stop the ball from crossing the line.

Mansoor nearly clawed one back for the Colonials with less than three minutes to play when Kato fumbled a cross right into the feet of Mansoor inside the six yard box. But the American defenders threw themselves in front of her shot just in the nick of time to prevent a goal.

Demko said that the game was “a tale of two halves” as it took until the second half for the Colonials to consistently assert themselves onto the visitors.

“You can’t give 45 minutes away against a team that has a ton of energy and good organization, you can’t give 45 minutes away,” Demko said. “It makes it incredibly tough.”

GW have now been outscored 16-5 across their six matches so far this season and have just two games left in the non-conference campaign. The Colonials will look to gain some positive momentum heading into A-10 play after missing the playoffs last season.

“There’s still a ton of soccer left for us and we’re going to continue to teach as a staff,” Demko said. “It’s not for a lack of want or lack of effort on their end so we just need to stay the course.”

GW is back in action Thursday, starting a four-game road swing with a matchup against Towson at 7 p.m.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.