Women’s Soccer Opens A-10 Tournament Play on Saturday
Colonials to face Duquesne in quarterfinals
The top eight squads in the Atlantic 10 will compete for the championship crown starting this Saturday as the top-four seeded teams are set to host the first round of postseason play. The tournament then heads to VCU’s Sports Backers Stadium for the semifinals and finals Nov. 3-5.
La Salle (14-3-2, 5-2-3 A-10) claimed the regular-season title after posting an undefeated A-10 season. Saint Louis (15-2-2, 7-2-1 A-10) finished second in the league standings, followed by George Mason (9-8-2, 6-2-2 A-10), and Duquesne (10-5-3, 6-3-1 A-10). The Colonials finished ahead of Saint Joseph’s (10-5-3, 5-3-2 A-10), VCU (9-5-3, 5-3-2 A-10), and Dayton (9-8-2, 4-4-2 A-10).
A GW win on Saturday would have the Colonials face either first-seeded La Salle or eighth-seeded Dayton on November 3.
The Colonials will compete in the Atlantic 10 Championships for the fifth consecutive season under sixth-year head coach Sarah Barnes, the longest streak since GW appeared in the A-10 tournament six years in a row from 1993-1998 – the program’s first years as an A-10 competitor.
Last season, the Colonials fell in the semifinal round to Dayton, reaching the second round of the championship for the first time since 2014. The Colonials last appeared in the championship match in 1997.
GW will take on Duquesne in the quarterfinal round at Rooney Field on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Buff and Blue went head-to-head with the Dukes last Sunday in a 0-0 draw that saw the Colonials hold a 15-14 edge in shots.
The two teams have a storied past in postseason play. Last season, GW upset Duquesne in a dramatic 2-1 overtime thriller when Brittany Cooper scored with nine seconds left on the clock in the second overtime period. GW owns a 9-7-3 advantage in the all-time series with Duquesne.
Junior Sofia Pavon has posted a breakout season for the Buff and Blue, leading the squad with a career-high 18 points on a career-high eight goals while adding two assists. The midfielder’s three game-winning goals leads GW and is tied-for-fourth in the conference.
Cooper and freshman Alexis Williams have also played a pivotal role on the front line, with Cooper ranking second on the team with a career-high 12 points (4g, 4a) and Williams following closely behind in third with 11 points (4g, 3a). Cooper is also tied for third in the conference with 55 shots on the season.
Eight different Colonials have found the back of the net in 2017.
The Colonials have put together one of the top defenses in conference play this season. As a squad, the Colonials’ back-line finished A-10 action with a league-low five goals allowed and 0.47 goals-against average. Freshman Allie Nornes, sophomores Deena DeSilva and Olivia DiCristofaro, junior Dani Frese, and redshirt sophomore captain Meg McCormick have been key to the Buff and Blue’s defensive success in 2017.
Redshirt senior Miranda Horn has been clutch for the Colonials between the posts, leading the A-10 with an impressive 0.47 GAA in conference play and a .853 save percentage on the season. Horn leads the league with a career-high 10 shutouts and turned in her 31st clean sheet against Duquesne to cement her position as GW’s all time career shutouts leader. The Hamilton, Ontario native's 31 career shutouts also ranks seventh in the nation.
GW ranks third in the league with a 6-2-1 record on the road this season and has only conceded one match on an opponent’s home turf in conference action. In those games, the Colonials scored a combined 14 goals and posted five shutout victories.
GW has played a total of five overtime games this season, posting a 1-0-4 record. The Colonials’ lone overtime victory was against James Madison, when GW rallied back from a one-goal deficit to defeat the Dukes, 2-1, to close out its non-conference schedule on Sept. 17. In games that ended in a tie, GW outshot its opponents 17-15 in the extra frames.
The Buff and Blue have found the back of the net before their opponent in 10 contests this season. In those games, the Colonials have posted an 8-1-1 record.
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