By JOSH JOHNSON
The University of Mary Washington Women’s Soccer team fell to 5-1-1 this past Saturday when they were defeated by Salisbury University 1-0.
In their previous game, the Eagles tied at Frostburg State 1-1. Despite their 5-0 start to the season, the Eagles tarnished their record in two consecutive Saturdays.
Head coach Corey Hewson believes his team is better than what their last two weekends have portrayed. “We are our own toughest opponents. When we make mental errors, we give the opponent opportunities,” Hewson said.
The Eagles made several runs in the first half that resulted in several quality shots, but to no avail. “We were the better team in the first half,” Hewson said. “We had some great chances that hit posts.”
They trailed Salisbury seven shots to eight in the first half, but held the advantage with corner kicks, many of which were goal-scoring opportunities.
Salisbury was an offensive machine, taking advantage of every possession. The Eagles’ defensive was solid throughout the first half. Sophomore Jenny Mayo, who played all 90 minutes, anchored the Eagle resistance.
In the second half, the Sea Gulls kept on the offensive, shelling the Eagles for 14 shots. Mary Washington had a hard time getting a foot up on the ‘Gulls. They didn’t seem to go on the offensive, having only three shots in the whole second half. Hewson said the team “could have played with more confidence and stepped up physically.”
A foul just outside the penalty box in the 70th minute gave Salisbury the opportunity they needed. Senior forward Erin Mooney lined up for a free kick from just outside the penalty box. She connected and placed a virtually unsavable shot in the upper right-hand corner of the goal, despite the best efforts of Charlotte Owens, who racked up a season-high 13 saves. The goal proved to be decisive as the Eagles failed to answer before time was called.
The Eagles hope to establish themselves more physically in the future. Coach Hewson said the team will train harder to improve this weakness.
The Eagles’ starting rotation has been depleted in recent weeks, as several starters have suffered injuries.
Hewson acknowledged this, saying, “We have a number of critical injuries at the moment, so we are having to make adjustments and need the right people to step up and make the most of their chances.”
The Eagles appear to have depth, though fresh faces will have to step up. Hewson stated the team would “keep doing exactly what they are doing, just capitalize on their chances.”
As far as the team’s goals for the season, Coach Hewson made them clear: “to win.”
Wednesday, the Eagles face off with Randolph-Macon, where they can make that goal a reality.