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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

‘Tale of Two Halves’

Women’s soccer earns first conference win

This Thursday, Sept. 29 the Saint Joseph’s University women’s soccer team took on the George Washington University Colonials in their Hawks vs. Cancer game. Through the rain and wind, the Hawks prevailed in a 2-1 win to begin Atlantic 10 conference play.

As the rain poured down onto Sweeney Field, the game opened with high pressure from both the Hawks and the Colonials, but few shots were taken by either side. The stalemate was broken in the 24th minute when St. Joe’s sophomore Michaela Finneyfrock received a cross through the center of the box from freshman Gabrielle Vagnozzi and placed the ball at a line drive just past the diving hands of George Washington’s goalkeeper.

The goal set the tone for the rest of the half, as Saint Joe’s dominated in possession and continually pressured the George Washington goal.

In the 30th minute the Hawks almost found their second goal when sophomore Dakota Mills took a hard shot tipped by the Colonial’s keeper just outside the goal. George Washington saw a close opportunity as well just four minutes later when a scramble in the St. Joe’s goal box led to a ball being kicked off the line by a Hawk defender.

A goal scored by junior Lauren Dimes with an assist from Mills in the 40th minute proved to be the game winner. Dimes dribbled through the legs of a Colonial defender and found the lower left corner of the goal.

“I was going to take a shot and saw a mob of people in front of me, so I went around a girl and then saw an open shot, and found the corner,” Dimes said.

Just one minute into the second half, George Washington University found the back of the net off of a defensive turnover in the box, making the game 2-1. The Colonials kept the pressure on the Hawks for the rest of the half, but the defense was able to hold them off to secure the win.

Head Coach Jess Mannella credits the defense for their composed play against such a challenging team.

“They cleared two balls from the line, they cover for each other, they block shots, we always have numbers back and are always organized,” Mannella said.

Mannella knew George Washington University would be a tough test to begin conference play.

“Last year, GW went undefeated in our conference, so we knew it was going to be a really tough match,” Mannella said. “I was surprised at the way we dominated the first half…we had the wind and the rain in our favor when we were dominating.”

The less than favorable weather conditions certainly proved to be a factor in the game as the slick ball had odd bounces around the field, and wind and rain came in players’ line of vision.

“It was definitely really tough, but it’s nothing we haven’t played through before,” Dimes said. “We knew that they were playing in the same conditions, so we just had to go out there and play our game.”

Each half was dominated by one team, the first half being St. Joe’s, the second by George Washington.

“It was definitely a tale of two halves for each team because the wind was so bad,” Mannella said. “We’re both two teams who like to possess [the ball] but the rain sometimes ruins it.”

In the end, the Hawks took better advantage of their time with the wind at their back by scoring two goals while the Colonials were only able to produce one.

Winning the first game in conference play sets the tone for games coming up in the next few weeks.

“We came into conference knowing we were 7-1-1, and that’s great, but once you start conference, you’re really 0-0,” Mannella said, “This win is the most important win of any win we’ve had.”

The Saint Joe’s women’s soccer team (8-1-1) will attempt to continue their winning streak when the travel to New York on Sunday, October 2nd to take on Fordham University (5-3-2) for another A-10 conference matchup.

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