GW Drops A-10 Match to La Salle in Double-Overtime
Oct. 28, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC -Playing in their final match of the 2006 season on a blustery Saturday afternoon at Mount Vernon Field, the George Washington women's soccer team fell to La Salle 2-1 in double-overtime. With the loss, the Colonials end their season with an overall record of 9-10-0 and an Atlantic 10 Conference mark of 2-7-0.
La Salle, who improved to 9-9-1 (6-2-1), controlled play in the first half, registering six shots and eight corner kicks. The Explorers would end the day with a total of 12 corners, easily surpassing their previous game-high this season of seven. The first dent on the scoreboard came from La Salle, in the 9th minute. After a GW foul, Jenna Guagenti set-up the free kick and sent a bender into the box that Kristin Hextall headed into the net for the early 1-0 lead.
The score would remain the same for the remainder of the first 45 minutes. In the second half, however, the Colonials came out strong, controlling play and possessing the ball for longer stretches than they managed in the first half. The increased tempo of play paid off in the 66th minute, when GW was able to notch the equalizer. Sophomore Lauren Kelly, normally known for her tenacious defense and long, bending assists, blasted a ball from outside the box and watched it curve into the far right side of the net. For Kelly, who leads the team in assists this season with four, it was her first career goal in 36 matches played.
The Explorers began a heavy attack, realizing that the game was slipping away, but the Colonial defense, led by the two seniors, Shari Taylor and Molly Eckert, was equal to their advances. La Salle nearly managed to earn the game-winner when, in the 78th minute, a lose ball was bouncing dangerously close to the GW goal line. But before an Explorer could put a foot on it, Eckert rushed in and cleared the ball, preserving the tie and forcing the match into extra time.
After playing the first ten-minute period, and the game still without a resolution, the two teams prepared themselves for the double-overtime period. Unfortunately, they would not need the full ten minutes, as La Salle found the back of the net in the 105th minute. Dana Giordano sped down the far right side and crossed the ball in front of the net. From there, Hextall completed the play for her second goal of the match and her third game-winner of the season.
The loss was the third straight for the Colonials, their longest such streak of the 2006 season. Although they were unable to advance to the conference tournament, GW ended the season with 28 goals, more than they scored in six of the past seven seasons. Their non-conference record of 7-3-0 was the best in the history of the program and their nine overall wins are the most since the 2003 campaign.
Molly Eckert, a defender from Scottsdale, AZ, came to George Washington in 2003 and began making an impact right away, starting 10 games as a freshman. Playing along side her older sister Meggan, Molly made key contributions defensively on a Colonials squad that finished 11-6-2 and allowed less than a goal per match. A knee injury suffered sophomore season limited her play for the past two years, but she has returned to form and is once again helping to pace the GW defense. Molly appeared in 11 matches this year, making starts in the last four contests, one of which was a key victory over St. Bonaventure. Off the pitch, she has been the consummate teammate, helping the younger players truly understand what it means to be a part of GW Women's Soccer. A former intern at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC, Molly will graduate in May with a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Sport, Event, and Hospitality Management.
Shari Taylor has been a leader on the back line ever since she supplanted herself in the Colonial defense her sophomore year. The senior from Fort Washington, MD, ended her career today having started 53 of the 56 matches in which she appeared. In 2004, Shari notched her first collegiate goal in a 1-1 draw with Dartmouth. Last season, as a junior, she tied for the team-lead with four goals, including two scores in a 2-1 victory at La Salle. Those efforts helped her to earn All-Conference Second Team honors in the A-10. This year, although she hasn't cracked the goal line, the tri-Captain has made her presence known, tallying two assists, being named to the Thundering Herd Nike Invitational All-Tournament Team and helping lead GW to their best ever non-conference record. Away from the field, Shari remained active, serving as President of GW's Student-Athletics Advisory Committee (SAAC) and working for the Bureau of European Affairs Office of Policy and Global Issues, concentrating on the HIV/AIDS, Avian Flu and Climate Change Portfolios. Shari will graduate in May with a degree in International Affairs with a Conflict and Security concentration.