Top-seeded Colonials begin conference tourney Thursday in North Carolina against George Mason.
Junior MacKenzie Cowley's third consecutive game-winner lifted the Atlantic 10 regular season champion George Washington women's soccer team over Saint Louis 1-0 Sunday on the GW soccer field to end its regular season with a perfect 10-0-0 conference record.
The Colonials will travel to Davidson, N.C., for the 2015 Atlantic 10 Championships, where GW will compete as the top seed and open play at 11 a.m. Thursday against eighth-seeded George Mason.
The Colonials (15-4-0 overall) have reached the 10-win mark in league play while posting a flawless conference record for the first time in program history.
The squad is tied with the 1987 team for the most wins in school history and has extended its nation-leading win streak to 13 games.
GW controlled the tempo from the start of Sunday’s match on the Colonials’ Senior Day as redshirt-senior Nicole Belfonti rattled off a trio of shots before the 18-minute mark as the Colonials out-shot the Billikens 5-3. The first half ended in a scoreless tie.
The Buff and Blue dominated the second half early on and nearly found the back of the net in the 58th minute when Ms. Belfonti took a header off of a corner kick by junior Lina Proska, but Saint Louis' goalie was in the right spot to make the save.
In the 81st minute, senior Kristi Abbate dished the ball to Ms. Cowley just inside the box. Ms. Cowley then drew out the Billikens' goalie and lofted a perfectly placed shot into the far, upper right corner to give the Colonials a 1-0 lead and the eventual game-winner.
Ms. Cowley is the first Colonial to reach the double-digit goals mark since 2003, when Kim Warner tallied 13 scores. She ranks eighth on GW's all-time single-season list with 10 goals in 2015.
A strong defensive performance solidified the victory for GW and secured the 12th shutout of the year. Senior Ellen Conway tallied a pair of saves on the day while posting her first solo shutout of the season.
The Buff and Blue out-shot Saint Louis 9-6, led by Ms. Belfonti's four attempts, and held the advantage in corner kicks 4-2.
"Patience is on our list of top things that we always want to accomplish," said Coach Sarah Barnes. "Today we were so good and so disciplined to do the simplest possible things, which isn't always easy. Our team has really grown and evolved as the season has gone on, and today was a really good example of a complete game coming together."
Prior to the game, the Colonials honored their graduating seniors, Ms. Belfonti, Ms. Abbate, Ms. Conway, Emily Brown, Kyla Ridley and Brooke Stoller—a group that has played a large role in the season's success, combining for eight goals on the year while leading defensive efforts.
"Our group of seniors is so determined," Ms. Barnes. "They are hard working, disciplined, resilient and competitive. They want to win. Their level of play rises when the pressure rises, and they have been critical to our team and the growth of this program over the last four years."