Women’s soccer grabs second win of season at home

Media Credit: File Photo by Serena Lum | Staff Photographer

Head coach Michelle Demko said she made a few changes at halftime, but the team mostly stuck to its game plan.

Women’s soccer nabbed their second win of the season Sunday afternoon against Saint Joseph’s.

The Colonials (2-12-2, 2-6 A-10) notched two goals in the second half to record their second home win over the Hawks (3-11-2, 3-5 A-10). Head coach Michelle Demko said the energy and commitment level of the team throughout the game was “incredible.”

“I think as a result they continued to press the game and they continued to pin them in and play in their half, then you get opportunities,” Demko said. “I thought they did a really great job of putting those away.”

Freshman midfielder Alicia Window registered her third goal in two games while senior midfielder Beth Ellinport notched her first of the season. On the defensive side, senior goalkeeper Erica Lorenzana collected five saves to keep the clean sheet for the Colonials.

In the 18th minute, GW moved the ball all the way up the right side of the field, starting from a goal kick to earn a corner kick. The sharpness in possession was a theme throughout the match for the Colonials.

“It was really good ball movement,” Demko said. “In terms of changing the point, we talked about going horizontal to shift them, in order to be able to go vertical.”

In the 31st minute, graduate student Kelly Amador, who started the match at defensive midfielder, but also played striker and center back, received a through ball from graduate student forward Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky. Amador was one-on-one with Hawks sophomore goalkeeper Katie Cappelletti, but hit her left-footed shot right at Cappelletti, who made the save.

Lorenzana, making her second start of the season, was forced into a difficult save in the 35th minute. Saint Joseph’s graduate student forward Morgan Bower hit a powerful shot to the bottom left corner from the top of the box, but Lorenzana got down quickly to parry it to the side.

The Colonials turned up the pressure in the final minutes of the first half, and their best chance of the period came in the 42nd minute when sophomore forward Anika Haski played a through ball to Amador, but she was unable to get a shot off.

At halftime, Demko said she made a few tweaks in her strategy but wanted to see more of the same going forward from the Colonials.

“We talked a little bit more about services in the box when we had opportunities, because I thought we were trying to combine a little bit too much in those wide channels, as opposed to, if we’re freed up, go ahead and serve the box and be goal dangerous,” Demko said.

Saint Joseph’s had the first good chance of the second half in the 50th minute when graduate student midfielder Sofia Filippo got in behind the GW backline and cut the ball back to junior midfielder Ashley Orendac, who fired her shot wide of the net.

After avoiding a scare in the first half, the Colonials were on the front foot for the rest of the match. In the 54th minute, senior midfielder Maria Pareja played a cross into Window, who tried to direct the ball into the net off her chest to no avail.

In the 59th minute, Danyko-Kulchycky blasted a shot to the top right corner of the net, forcing Cappelletti to parry the ball away. Amador gathered the rebound on the edge of the six yard box and played the ball across to an unmarked Window, who took a touch and tapped it in for the finish.

Window’s goal against the Hawks comes after her two-goal performance last Thursday in a 4-2 loss to Dayton. Demko said Window’s confidence was raised heading into Sunday’s matchup as a result.

“I think you saw that today, her performance was a result of that type of confidence, that type of belief,” Demko said. “We had a conversation the other day and she said, ‘I just I’m not feeling like myself the last few weeks,’ and so it was nice to see her come alive and just do what she does.”

The Colonials continued to create chances throughout the half, as they scored a disallowed goal in the 78th minute. Ellinport played in a corner kick which fell to Pareja before Pareja’s try was deflected and fell to junior midfielder Isabelle Eskay, who backheeled it into the net. But the assistant referee ruled that Eskay was standing in an offside position when Pareja shot the ball.

A mere three minutes later, GW put the ball in the back of the net for the second time, and once again Ellinport was involved. Ellinport played a cross into Amador, who took a hard and low shot toward the far post. Cappelletti made a diving save but the ball fell right to Ellinport, who smashed it in near post to double the Colonial lead.

Graduate student defender Cammie Dopke said the key to the victory was the patience of the team on offense.

“The first half, we had a lot of chances, but couldn’t put one away,” Dopke said. “And then just coming back out, still giving it to them, keeping it in their half, and then also just finishing out the game getting a shutout. That’s huge for us.”

The Colonials currently sit at the No.12 spot in the conference and with two games left on their regular season schedule, the Colonials must win both of their games to have a distant shot at making the A-10 tournament.

“I think just focusing on what’s at hand in the present and not worrying about past results or future results,” Dopke said. “Taking care of that one game at a time, and just finishing out the season.”

GW heads to Pittsburgh Thursday for a 7 p.m. kickoff against Duquesne, before finishing up the regular season next Sunday at home against Davidson.

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