Women's Soccer drops to GW

AU Women's Soccer fans probably expected AU sophomore midfielder Simone Konig to be the offensive force in Wednesday's match. Instead, it was GW forward Kim Warren, who scored one goal and started two others en route to a Colonial victory, 3-1.

"She's a good player, she has tremendous pace and she's smart," Head Coach Michael Brady said. "When great players are given time and space, they're going to have great games."

It was frustration all-round for AU (1-3, 0-0), who had their share of possession and chances in both halves. The Colonials only out shot the Eagles 14-13, and shots on goal were even at 7-7. Yet AU's chances never seemed to threaten Colonial 'keeper Ana Handzlik, who made six saves but only had to go to ground once.

"I thought we played well as a team," senior midfielder Anabel Jimenez said. "But we didn't finish our opportunities well, and we broke down on defense at times. We are a better team than we are showing so far this season."

Jimenez was dangerous on the wing, especially in the first half. On three separate first-half occasions, she played dangerous crosses into the 18-yard box, only to miss players by a half step. When that didn't work, she tried taking on defenders herself. In the 37th minute, she went to ground in the penalty area after appearing to split two defenders, but no call was given.

"Annabel and [freshman midfielder] Christina Gonzalez were our only two bright spots today," Brady said. "They played with the passion, intensity, and responsibility missing from anyone else. I give them so much credit for that."

Despite a "lack of spark," as Brady called it, the two sides played an even first 15 minutes of soccer, neither allowing the other to play with any rhythm. That changed in the 19th minute though, when Warren's goal gave GW the lead.

Midfielder Meggan Eckert latched onto a GW defensive clearance to start the attack. Seeing Warner sprinting through the AU defense, Eckert played a perfect ball to Warren's feet at the 18-yard box. Warren almost over-ran the play, but she recovered, warding off an AU back before hitting a low blast past AU freshman 'keeper Alison Doyle on a quick turn.

It was 2-0 just before halftime. This time, Warren started the attack, finding GW midfielder Lise Backman on the right wing. Backman was allowed space by the AU defense and made it pay, finding midfielder Ashley Squires on the penalty spot. Squires finished easily, doubling the lead in the 44th minute.

After sitting 15 minutes of the second half, Warren came on again, starting the third GW goal with her first second-half touch. Warren's long ball found forward Nicole Cavino's head, whose header was deflected by a stranded Doyle, only to find GW forward Sarah Sample, who finished from a tough right-sided angle in the 63rd minute.

AU scored three minutes from time, when Jimenez evaded a defender before finding sub Marcela Ricupero with a cross from the right corner. Ricupero, whose time has been limited with a quad injury, scored her second goal of the year.

"I saw the opportunity coming," said Jimenez. "I cut it back, got it to Marcella, and she headed it in. It was a good goal."

Doyle was subbed out in the 70th minute in favor of senior 'keeper Lauren Wohl, who had little action as GW eased off the pedal. After the match, Brady said the starting 'keeper spot is still there for the taking.

"It's a tough question," Brady said of the 'keeper position. "We'll evaluate the decision over the next two days of training, and make the decision that we think is best for the program."

AU returns to action when Loyola comes to Reeves Field at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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