There are a lot of new players and a new head coach at George Washington, but luckily the Patriots' returners hadn't forgotten what happened on a cold October night at Schoenbaum Stadium last year.
In that game, then-No. 1 GW fell to No. 18 Capital 1-0 in a sectional matchup, killing what could have been a special season for the Patriots.
But on Thursday, George Washington exacted a little revenge on the No. 17 Cougars (6-6) as the Patriots thoroughly controlled a 3-1 win at Trace Fork Soccer Complex.
Three different players scored for GW and all three were assisted, a bit of an indication of GW's crisp passing and ball control.
"I think it was good," first-year GW coach Derek Ragle said. "It finally put to rest last year. Their keeper [Michelle Newhouse] had an excellent game last year and she's a good keeper - she's one of the best in the state. Tonight we just came out, played our game, kept the pressure on them, and we got up three goals to nothing and we may have gotten a little too comfortable because we gave one up. But I was proud of them."
Ragle wasn't with the Patriots (8-1-1) last season, but Charlie Lucente, Andrea Breeden, Stephanie Kelly and Taylor Ellis were, and all four contributed to the scoring Thursday.
Ellis booted home the first goal for No. 5 GW with 32:36 left in the first half and Lucente added another with 12:48 remaining to put the Patriots up 2-0 at halftime. Kelly notched an assist on both goals.
Breeden scored the first goal of the second half with 18:54 remaining off an assist from Hannah Ellis, and even though Capital's Lauren Johnson answered with a goal less than two minutes later, the damage had been done.
"The first half we didn't come out hustling," Capital coach Riley Gibson said. "They won 50-50 balls. They probably won about 90 percent of them. Give them credit, they played hard.
"If there was a team ready to play tonight, [GW was] ready to play. We basically burst their bubble last year when they were rated No. 1 and we ended their season pretty quick. They came out ready to play and hats off to them."
Patriots senior Haley Claudio was also there last year, and on her 18th birthday Thursday, she helped control the middle and kept the ball in Capital's half of the field nearly all night.
"I think everyone that was returning just knew we had everything going for us that game and sometimes it just doesn't work out," Claudio said. "But we talked about it a lot this week just coming out and making sure that we were really focused at our practices and targeting on improving everything we need to do. What else can you say, we came out and got the result that we wanted."
Newhouse, a first-team all-state selection last year, was mostly solid but was under a lot of fire, making six saves and facing 18 GW shots, including nine on goal. Patriots' keeper Olivia Miller stopped two shots.
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pr...@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.