Women’s soccer suffers back to back losses

Bri Pomonis, Senior Writer

The Bison women’s soccer team dropped two games during what may have been one of their most challenging weekends yet, facing last year’s Ivy League Champion UPenn, and meeting George Washington for the teams’ first in-season match-up.

After ending a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Towson on Sept. 8, the Orange and Blue were forced to make a quick turnaround in preparation for one of the season’s most difficult competitors.  The 2018 season was outstanding for the UPenn Quakers, who finished with a 13-2-1 record that earned them the gold amongst the Ivy League teams. In their first four games of the season, the Quakers’ sole loss came from No. 3 Stanford, with shutout wins against Towson and St. Mary’s, and a 1-1 draw with Fairfield.

The Quakers’ iron defense — which gave up only five goals over the entirety of last season — proved to be the Bison’s biggest obstacle in finding the net. The Orange and Blue held possession for 55 percent of the game, creating several opportunities ending in shots from Abby Gearhart ’23, Bri Kropinack ’21 and Rylee Donaldson ’23. UPenn tallied their first goal at the 24th minute and doubled their lead five minutes into the second half for a final score of 2-0 in favor of the Quakers.

After a quick turnaround, the Bison traveled to Washington, D.C. to square-off against George Washington. The Colonials had gone undefeated following a 2-0 defeat in their season-opener, with ties against Maryland and Towson and wins over American and Liberty. The starting lineup for the Bison consisted of six first-years, half of whom made their first collegiate start.

The Colonials found their first goal of the game off of a header from a corner kick.  The Orange and Blue responded quickly just six minutes later, with Gabby Bair ’20 finding the upper right corner from 35 yards out. George Washington made an equally prompt comeback, scoring the half’s final goal five minutes later.

The Bison defense did notably well in the second half, with Ali Russo ’20 preventing a near goal in the 78th minute and Kaylee Donnelly ’23 making double-digit saves for the second time in her debut season. Despite this, the Bison fell to George Washington 0-2.

Despite a deceptive record of 2-6-0, the Bison seek to continue the consistently strong play by both offense and defense as they begin Patriot League play on Sept. 21 against Lafayette.

“Going forward, the most important thing to take away from non-conference play is the level of improvement we have seen from day one of preseason to the last game of non-conference play, said Bair. As we start Patriot League our focus is taking the remainder of the season one game at a time. Our main goal is another Patriot League title so we are looking at this next step as a completely new chapter of the season”.

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