Women's Soccer Loses Heartbreaker 1-0 In A-10 Semifinal
Nov. 8, 2002
DAYTON, OH - George Washington's season came to a close after a valiant effort against Atlantic 10 season champs Rhode Island. The two sides met in Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinals where the #1-seeded Rhode Island Rams escaped the #4-seeded GW Colonials in a narrow 1-0 victory. This year's A-10 tournament is being played at Dayton's Baujan Field.
After a first half goal by Rhode Island's Claire Landon, GW came rushing back in the second half and almost tied the contest on several occasions. The Colonials' best shot came when recently named Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year Kim Warner (North York, Ontario/St. Joseph's) beat the Rams goalie in the closing moments of the match. At the 88:35 mark, Midfielder Lise Backman (Beaconsfield, Quebec/John Abbott College) chipped the ball over the URI defense to countryman Kim Warner on the run. Rams goalie Jamie Epperlein came out of the goal for the ball, but Warner made a quick move and tapped the ball past her on a slow roll to the right side of an empty net. URI defender Kelly Irvin sprinted to the ball and made the defensive save, kicking it out of bounds past the left side of the goal for a GW corner kick. Warner had a similar opportunity at the 46-minute mark when she beat the goalie but her shot was just a few feet wide of the right post.
Rhode Island's only score of the game came late in the first half at the 35:40 mark when a shot by Megan Kasparek deflected straight into the air and came down in front of URI midfielder Claire Landon. Landon kicked a solid ball from 15 yards out underneath GW keeper Kelly Paolucci (Lanham, MD/Good Counsel) to the lower left side of the goal.
George Washington came out firing in the second half with numerous opportunities hoping to bring the game to a tie. The Colonials managed to get off 10 shots in the second half seven of which were on goal. In addition to Warner's strikes, Ashley Squires (Rochester, NY/Our Lady of Mercy) sent a cross to forward Kimberly Sanders (Knoxville, TN/Bearden) in front of the net 10 yards out with 81:56 on the clock. Sanders kicked the ball right into the stomach of URI goalkeeper Jamie Epperlein who came out with the sliding save. URI goalkeeper Jamie Epperlein made 10 saves in the match while GW keeper Kelly Paolucci had four.
George Washington, who lost to Rhode Island 6-3 less then a week ago, kept this match within striking distance for the entire game. With the loss they complete their most successful season since 1998 with a 10-9-0 overall record, 7-5 in the Atlantic 10.