By NICK NELSON
Despite coming into last weekend’s contests against Gettysburg College and Susquehanna University with an unblemished 3-0 record and three straight shutouts, Mary Washington was unable to come away with victories against strong competition, losing 1-0 to Gettysburg and drawing 2-2 against Susquehanna. The Eagles are now 3-1-1 on the season.
Frustration was visibly evident on the faces of the Mary Washington players after Saturday’s tough loss, who despite outshooting the Gettysburg Bullets 7-4, allowed an own goal to dribble past the net-minder off a Gettysburg free kick at 61:57.
“We lacked a leader out there,” Coach Corey Hewson said about the own goal. “[The team] had to make a tough decision at that moment, and unfortunately no one stepped up to do so.”
Despite the disappointing loss, the Eagles came out of Saturday’s contest with knowledge of what to improve and how.
“We have to play as a team out there,” Hewson said. “We were 11 individuals, instead of one team. We’re not clicking. We’re not playing our game. We’re a young team though, and we’ll work hard and figure it out. These girls aren’t going to let each other down, because they’re not going to let each other let themselves down.”
The Eagles outshot the Bullets 4-2 in the first half, yet the score remained at zero for both squads. Defense remained equally strong in the second half, as Mary Washington outshot Gettysburg by a 3-2 margin, only allowing the own goal score.
The frustration of the own goal was evident in the play as well, as senior forward Kate Parvin was given a yellow card at 70:11.
Sophomore goalkeeper Tina Brehm notched two saves in Saturday’s defensive duel, while Gettysburg goalie Allie Rivera made three. Mary Washington led in corner kicks 6-1. Coming into Saturday’s game, the Eagles had yet to be scored on in three straight games, opening the season with 2-0, 4-0 and 1-0 wins against Shenandoah College, McDaniel College and Eastern Mennonite University respectively.
“The girls just need to come together, to work smarter,” Hewson said. “We’ve got to hold onto possessions, and not try to shove it down their throat.”
Sunday’s contest against Susquehanna was equally as frustrating, ending in a tie despite the Eagles netting two goals. Mary Washington drew first blood in the contest, opening scoring with a goal by freshman forward Sunny Herold at 20:39, whose goal came after just stepping onto the field in a substitution. Susquehanna returned the favor less than a minute after on a goal by Alison Chavers at 21:32.
The Eagles regained the advantage at 27:13 on an unassisted goal by junior midfielder Sarah Tryon, holding a 2-1 lead into halftime. The final score of the game unfortunately came off the foot of Susquehanna’s Abby Montgomery at 53:44. Despite the tie score, the Eagles outshot the Crusaders by a stunning 34-7 margin and held a 5-3 advantage on corner kicks. Brehm had three saves to Crusader goalie Alyssa Kemmerer’s 14.
The girls entered action on the road on Wednesday at Christopher Newport University, but the game was completed too late to print the score. Entering the game the girls were a perfect 2-0-0 on the road. This weekend, the Eagles open conference play with a matchup against the Wesley College Wolverines on Saturday as well as a matchup against the Cougars of Averett University on Sunday.