The soccer season for the George Mason University women’s team is not off to a good start.
Since the beginning of the season August 19, the women’s soccer team has not had a win in their first four games. With a record of 0-4 the Patriots find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic 10 Conference standings.
The Patriot’s season opener was played against Delaware at their home of Grant Stadium, although Mason lost that game in a score of 2-1 it did show promise and a willingness on the part of the team to play hard as they were being outplayed. Mason would get five shots during the game with three of them on goal, Delaware on the other hand would get 14 shots with half of them on goal.
Mason Goalie Louisa Moser would record five saves during the game which prevented the Delaware Blue Hens from scoring more with the opportunities they had. Head Coach Manya Puppione would give Delaware credit for their hard play and giving the Patriots a good test of where they stand and where they would need to be.
“This game was a good test and a lesson learned for us,” said Puppione . “I am proud of how we fought back and got ourselves back in the game, but we know we can do better individually and collectively, right from the start.
However, Mason’s next two games at home were disappointing as both Maryland and Virginia would come onto the field of George Mason Stadium and leave the Patriots with nothing to show for it in shutout games.
Maryland would have a similar but more devastating offense when compared to Delaware, out of two goals scored the Terrapins would have 22 shots with 10 of those on goal. Mason would only have eight shots with four of them on goal, Moser would again make five saves for the Patriots but the number of incoming shots would be too much for the senior goalie. Maryland would leave George Mason Stadium with a 2-0 win over the Patriots which meant another loss on the scorecard for the Mason women’s team.
Mason lost the next game to the number three-ranked Virginia which left the Patriots with another loss from a shutout game. The Cavaliers scored two goals from 18 shot attempts with eight of those on goal. Virginia’s defense was just as good as their offence as they kept the Patriots to just three shots with two of them on goal. Mason goalie Louisa Moser again got five saves but was overwhelmed by the Virginia offense.
While many considered that game a disappointment, Puppione is taking the long-view approach that every game is a lesson learned regardless of a win or a loss. The fact that Mason managed to hold the number three ranked soccer team in the nation to only two goals says a lot about the potential of the team.
“I am so incredibly proud of our team and how we showed up tonight against one of the top teams in the nation,” said Puppione. “Before the game we talked about intent and action and how we need to have both to be successful. They showed up with both tonight, which frustrated a quality opponent. We can take a lot of positives from how disciplined we were as a team, while also focusing on things we can improve upon.”
Improvement for the lady Patriots came in their next game, this time against Pennsylvania at Rhodes Field. This game against the Quakers was a more even matchup as both teams recorded nine shots each with Pennsylvania getting one more shot on goal than the Patriots did. Moser only recorded three saves on the night but the Mason defense showed improvement after their games against Maryland and Virginia which didn’t leave Moser having to do the heavy lifting when it comes to goalkeeping.
This match recorded their fourth loss this season, but Mason walked away showing much improved on-field which was exhibited with a 1-2 game against the Quakers.
Even though the Lady Patriots haven’t had a good opening to their season so far, improvement is beginning to show and only time will tell if they’ll be able to gel well enough to give the rest of the Atlantic 10 Conference a surprise later in the season.