The new Capital conference got a good look at its DII women’s colleges last weekend, as 11 of 13 teams now have at least one league game on the books. Week 2 produced some lop-sided results; in fact, only 10 points total were scored against the five victors on Saturday. (See all of the results here).
George Washington was one such team that didn’t allow a point-against (as was Salisbury and George Mason in a forfeit) in its 48-0 victory over Georgetown. It was the second consecutive shutout for GW, which also blanked American 56-0 in a conference friendly.
“I was particularly impressed with the amount of offense we were able to produce and how well we moved the ball considering it was absolutely pouring down rain for probably 70 out of the 80 minutes,” new GW coach Mary Anderson said. “During warm-up we discussed as a team that we weren't going to let the weather conditions force us to change our game plan, which centered around really pushing the pace of the game. Overall this is a very fit team, so by controlling the tempo early we were able to create space for ourselves later in the match when the other team got tired.”
George Washington used an oppressive defense to expedite the wearing-down process, but it took some time for the team to find a balance between vigor and discipline.
“We did struggle with penalties early on in the game, particularly offsides, but I just attribute that to everybody making a concerted effort to come up hard on last-foot defense like we had worked on all week at practice,” Anderson explained. “Initially they were just releasing a tad early, or not quite starting far enough back, but once they got used to the ref and adjusted accordingly, the defensive pressure was absolutely suffocating, and Georgetown just couldn't get any momentum.”
GW maximized their possession with some stellar lineouts, as jumper Grace Mainwaring stole Georgetown’s throw-ins with good consistency. The scrum was a different story, as Georgetown dominated that set piece and stole possession on occasion. Fortunately for GW, scrumhalf Elena Clark applied good pressure on the opposition halfback and forced some turnovers of her own.
But a solid scrum wasn’t enough to engineer a win for Georgetown. GW diversified its attack, and while the Georgetown fullback did well to corral linebreaks, GW’s support kept play moving forward. Everyone contributed, as evidenced by six different players scoring the team’s eight tries.
“I can't emphasize enough how pleased I am with the cohesion of this team,” Anderson said. “People worked into new positions and combinations seamlessly, most notably Maddie Mador and Amber Drew, who moved from lock and hooker to No. 8 and flanker, respectively, and were absolute terrors all over the pitch for the entire game. … It was a fun night and I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of games and building on this early success.”
George Washington’s big win will be put into perspective when the team hosts Mary Washington this Saturday. The latter posted a 46-5 victory over Virginia Commonwealth last weekend, and the two have been among the Mid-Atlantic heavyweights for the last few years.