Women’s soccer nabs first win of season

Media Credit: File Photo by Arielle Bader

The Spiders put pressure on the Colonials for most of the game, but GW's squad was able to hold on for its first win of the season.

Women’s soccer captured their first win of the season against Richmond Sunday afternoon.

The Colonials (1-8-2, 1-2-0 A-10) defeated the Spiders (4-5-1, 2-1-0 A-10) in a 3–1 victory at home, ending a seven-game losing streak while snapping Richmond’s four-game undefeated streak. The Colonials put on a dominant offensive performance, outshooting the Spiders 11-8 on the day to hand Richmond their first conference loss.

“I feel like we’ve been working on a lot of things over the past few weeks and it all kind of clicked on Sunday, which was nice, because we got that win that we’ve been wanting,” freshman defender Alicia Window said.

The Colonials struck first in the 24th minute. Sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Cruz gave a quick pass to graduate student midfielder Kelly Amador, who ran down toward the goal line and cut back. She found Cruz’s run inside the edge of the box and Cruz took a quick touch to her right to bend the ball past the keeper into the side netting.

“Our warmup was really high energy,” Cruz said. “I think that translated to the start of the game, and we saw them come out. Once we started scoring, it just kept on building up and we got more confident. So that was awesome.”

The Spiders nearly equalized in the 54th minute off a corner kick. Junior forward Molly Wierman delivered a ball into the middle of the box that was flicked on toward the back post by a Richmond attacker. The ball deflected toward the net amidst a cluster of GW defenders and Richmond attackers, before it was cleared away near the goal line by senior defender Madi Coyne, preserving the Colonials’ lead.

The Colonials fashioned another chance on a busted corner kick in the 58th minute. Freshman defender Amelia Booth recovered the ball in the midfield and passed it to senior midfielder Sammy Neyman.

Neyman switched the ball over to the left side to Coyne, who found graduate student forward Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky out wide. Danyko-Kulchycky drove toward the edge of the 18 yard box, lobbing a shot toward the far post, but sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Montague made a diving save to deny the Colonials a two goal lead.

Richmond threatened once again after earning a set piece in the 59th minute. Graduate student midfielder TJ Anderson chipped the ball into the box and a GW defender attempted to clear the ball but couldn’t get enough leg behind the clearance. The ball fell right to a Richmond attacker, who fired a shot straight into the gloves of redshirt junior goalkeeper Tamaki Machi.

Booth earned a corner kick for the Colonials after attempting to cross the ball in the 65th minute. Danyko-Kulchycky sent the ball in toward the back post, and Coyne elevated with a smashing header to double the Colonials’ lead

“It’s always part of the game plan for us,” Cruz said. “We just tried to get the ball into the wide channels and get services off and then connect through the middle.”

GW tried to add to their lead in the 72nd minute after Cruz passed the ball out wide to Booth. Booth lobbed yet another ball toward the back post, this time toward Amador. Amador won the contested header but her attempt sailed wide and to the left of the net.

The Colonials struck for the last time in the 77th minute, courtesy of a strong individual effort by Booth. After reclaiming the ball in the midfield, she pushed the ball past a defender and cut in toward the box.

Despite being shoved to the outside by a defender, she managed to unleash a cross right into the path of Window, who controlled it with her thigh and slotted it through a defender’s legs to earn the first goal of her GW career.

Richmond nearly scored just two minutes later off another set-piece play. A Spider attacker flicked the ball on toward an unmarked back post attacker, who failed to control it in time before Machi came out and scooped the ball up. In the 87th minute, the Colonials narrowly preserved their clean sheet after a Richmond attacker’s header flashed just wide of the left post.

Head coach Michelle Demko said the team played well in Richmond’s half but they have to minimize their opponents’ ability to be “goal dangerous” and concede less set pieces in the defensive third going forward into the season. She said the team needs to work on transitional moments and not get caught watching the ball.

“We know where the ball is,” Demko said. “So if there’s a turnover, anytime a ball goes negative, which is a backward pass, we need to scan each of our lines.”

Richmond finally found the back of the net just a minute later. Anderson played the ball out wide to Wierman, who delivered a first time cross right onto the head of the unmarked junior forward Jessie Prillaman. Her header glanced the inside of the post and into the net to break the clean sheet for Machi, but the goal ultimately proved too late to trouble the Colonials’ lead.

Despite the late goal, Demko said she was “happy” for the team and that their ability to put together two good halves of soccer was “fantastic.”

“My belief has never wavered, all the way from August 4 through today,” Demko said. “I know our capabilities and I know our talent levels. I was just really proud of the resilience, the belief that they continue to have in themselves.”

The Colonials will seek their second win of the season with another home matchup against Massachusetts Thursday. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

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