Women’s soccer nets first win following tie during first two games of regular season

Women’s soccer kicked off its season with a tie against UMBC Thursday and a win against William and Mary Sunday at the Mount Vernon Campus.

The Colonials began the weekend with a 1–1 tie against the Retrievers after failing to outscore their opponents against a tightly-wound defense before gaining momentum Sunday, holding onto a 1–0 lead that ensured their first victory of the season. Freshman goalkeeper Grace Crowe kept the opposing teams at bay with airtight defense for GW, and graduate student forward Rachel Sorkenn accounted for both of the team’s goals to power the Colonials out of the gates of the regular season.

The Colonials are off to a better start in 2022 than last season when they lost and tied during their first two games before completing a 3-12-3 record on the season. The Colonials averaged a .090 shooting percentage with 18 goals throughout the season, marking the third consecutive year they failed to qualify for the A-10 Championship. 

Here is a recap of the first two games of GW’s nonconference play:

Game 1
Time expired with the game knotted 1–1 as the Colonials (0-0-1) were unable to capitalize on shot opportunities to outscore the Retrievers (0-0-1). The NCAA eliminated overtime for soccer games in April, forcing regular season games with even scores to end with a tie with an exception for conference games, which will go into 10-minute overtime.

Graduate student forward Rachel Sorkenn scored the first and only goal in the match for the Colonials, her first goal since 2019 after missing the 2021 season due to an injury and the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colonials held a 10–5 advantage in shots throughout the match while outpacing the Retrievers in shots on target by an 8–1 margin and an 8–4 lead in corner kicks. UMBC had lost its last four games against GW dating back to 2010.

The game kicked off with back-and-forth possession within the first six minutes, when UMBC’s leading scorer forward Meghan McKye picked up the first goal of the match. Junior midfielder Elizabeth Cruz fired GW’s first shot, which was blocked by UMBC senior goalkeeper Morgan McGruder.

The match continued with a scoring drought during the first 21 minutes through an extended Retrievers possession, but a GW substitution that rotated three players leveled the playing field as Sorkenn entered the game. The Colonials netted their first goal when junior defender Margaret Rabbitt fed a pass to Sorkenn in the box, who scored the first goal of the match.

The Colonials sought to score another goal with a high kick during the 26th minute from freshman forward Isabel Kelly, but she failed to connect. The Retrievers responded with a goal off of a corner kick from graduate student midfielder Lola Negrete to McKye, tying the game before the conclusion of the half.

The second half ended with five contested shots from each team that failed to enter the net.

After substituting six players, GW maintained possession for nearly 20 minutes during the second half, driving toward the goal before an errant cross kick found its way out of bounds. The Colonials stuck with an offensive attack style that led to a collision near the center field at the 61st minute, where McKye picked up her first yellow card of the match after earning a foul for the collision.

The Retrievers sought to derail the Colonials with a short offensive kick that GW quickly defended and countered. The Colonials continued to keep UMBC at bay with increased possession and strong defense in their box.

UMBC committed the second foul of the match in their own box during the 84th minute, setting up a free kick for the Colonials to gain the needed match point, but senior midfielder Isabelle Eskey failed to seal the goal after McGruder saved it.

One minute later, the Colonials were awarded another penalty kick but were unable to capitalize again. GW went on to fire five shots on goal as the Retrievers fell behind but were unable to gain the needed tie-breaker.

Game 2
The Colonials (0-1-1) outshot the Tribe (0-2-0) by a score of 1-0 after the William and Mary team failed to counter GW’s defense Sunday at the Mount Vernon Campus. Sorkenn netted her second goal of the season in as many games and led the Colonials to their first win of the regular season.

The Colonials averaged eight shots, compared to six by the Tribe, with a longer possession during the first half of the game. In the second half, both teams totaled five shots each as the Tribe sought to claw back to a tie.

The match began with a 16-minute scoring drought during which the Colonials struggled to penetrate the Tribe’s defense, with a missed shot from the top of the zone from redshirt sophomore midfielder Caitlin Cunningham in the seventh minute. Graduate midfielder Sammy Neyman was fouled, which gave GW possession after a corner kick from the Tribe and cleared the way for junior forward Lauren Prentice to assist Sorkenn in her first goal.

The Tribe made two more fouls on the Colonials, which would eventually lead to a yellow card for junior defender Bridget Fitzpatrick. A corner kick by GW was left unanswered as the Tribe quickly took possession and took a shot on goal.

The last 24 minutes of the first half remained scoreless as both teams struggled to enter their respective boxes.

The second half started with six substitutions from each the Colonials and the Tribe in place of their starting six. The Tribe gained momentum with five shots on goal, but Crowe deflected three as William and Mary failed to score in every attempt.

The game ended in a scoreless second half when neither team could outsmart their opponents’ defense as time expired on the Colonials’ first win of the season.

The Colonials will face off against Townson Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Campus, looking for their second tally in the win column.

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