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George Mason women’s soccer routs Howard 4-0 on Thursday

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FAIRFAX, Va. (Via George Mason University) – The George Mason women’s soccer team scored four goals in the first half, two by junior Jenna Hamilton, on the way to a 4-0 win over Howard on Thursday night at George Mason Stadium.

Mason (4-1-0) took an early lead when junior Abby Downey scored from six yards out in the 10th minute to give the Patriots a 1-0 edge. Junior Kaila Williams picked up an assist on the goal with a sharp crossing pass. Both of Downey’s goals this season have been game-winners. She also netted the deciding goal Aug. 19 in a 2-1 win over Old Dominion.

The Patriots made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute when sophomore Nia Elbeck scored her second goal of the season from close range inside the box. Senior Sarah Hardison and junior Kelsey Young each had an assist. Elbeck has a goal in each of the last two games and has matched her goal total from last season, when she scored two goals in 15 games.

Hamilton found the back of the net in the 33rd minute from 18 yards out to increase the Mason advantage to 3-0, with junior Erin Mitchell and sophomore Emily Littell earning the assists. Hamilton scored again in the 42nd minute on a low crossing pass to make the score 4-0. Senior Alex Myers and sophomore Rebecca Callison picked up the assists on the goal. Hamilton has also equaled her goal total from last season, when she scored two goals in 16 games.

Entering the game, Mason had scored just one goal in the first half of play over the first four games.

“We were sharp tonight in the first half and scored some nice goals,” Mason head coach Todd Bramble said. “Now the trick is to just keep the balance and I think our players are mature enough to understand that and will continue to try to build momentum.”

The Patriots finished with a 19-4 advantage in shots, including 11-0 in shots on goal.

“It was a team effort and we finished the game with three different players in the back and a different goalkeeper,” Bramble said. “It shows that everyone that came into the game really understands our system.”

The Patriots recorded their second straight shutout. Senior goalkeeper Kirsten Glad (4-1-0) played the first half and didn’t face a shot on goal. Glad hasn’t allowed a goal over the last 173:04. Sophomore Morgan Symmers appeared in her first game of the season, playing the second half in goal for Mason.

The Patriots have won their first four home games of the season and equaled their home win total from the 2015 campaign. Mason has outscored opponents by a combined score of 11-2 at George Mason Stadium this season.

Howard (2-1-1) suffered its first loss of the season. The Bison had allowed just three goals over their first three games. Mason improved to 6-0-0 all-time against Howard, outscoring the Bison by a combined score of 24-2.

The Patriots will wrap up their four-game, season-long homestand on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. against Oklahoma in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

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