Women's Soccer Wins 1-0 Over Massachusetts in Fourth-Straight Shutout
Lise Backman Scores First Career Goal, GW Unbeaten in a Record Eight Straight
Oct. 3, 2003
WASHINGTON, DC - Lise Backman (Beaconsfield, Quebec/John Abbot College) scored her first career goal which turned out to be the game-winner in a 1-0 Colonials victory over Massachusetts. GW improves to 7-1-2 and 1-0-1 in the Atlantic 10 and extends several significant streaks. Anna Handzlik (Palos Verdes, CA/Palos Verdes Peninsula) led GW to their team-record fourth straight shutout. Handzlik remains undefeated in goal for the Colonials with a 5-0-2 record and has recorded three consecutive shutouts. In honor of her double-overtime shutout of Richmond a week ago, Soccer Buzz Magazine named Handzlik the National Goalkeeper of the Week.
Backman, a sophomore, broke through with the first goal of her two-year career in the closing minutes of the first half. The goal was the first first-half goal for the Colonials since September 17 against Howard. Backman was assisted by both Ashley Squires (Rochester, NY/Our Lady of Mercy) and Meggan Eckert (Scottsdale, AZ/Desert Mountain) on the game-winning goal. Eckert found Squires with a pass to feet at the top of the penalty box. Squires then one-touched the ball, through traffic, to Backman who had a beautiful finish. Backman beat Massachusetts goalkeeper Kelly Nigh to her right sliding a shot past the diving keeper and into the side netting.
With the assist, Eckert is now tied for the team and conference lead with three assists. Squires tallied her first assist to go with two goals earlier in the season. Squires had two late goal scoring opportunities in the last ten minutes of the match. Her shots were saved but Squires exhibited some fantastic skill to put herself into scoring position. Colonials scoring leader Kim Warner (North York, Ontario/St. Joseph's) also had several scoring opportunities but was turned away by five saves on her six shots.
GW's defense has stepped up during their home stand led by goalkeepers Handzlik and Kelly Paolucci (Lanham, MD/Good Counsel). The Colonials have not given up a goal over this four-game stand at home and have only given up two home goals this season both against previously-ranked Maryland. The Colonials are unbeaten in 12-straight matches at home going 10-0-2 since losing to Rhode Island in overtime on October 26, 2001. The Colonials will host Rhode Island at 1:00 pm on Sunday. GW is currently riding a league-best eight-game unbeaten streak. This is the fourth time GW is unbeaten in eight straight having matched the feat in 1998, 1996 and 1991. This is GW's second best record after 10 matches having gone 8-2 in 1995. With a win Sunday, GW would have their best record in history and have their longest unbeaten streak ever.