The 2005 men's soccer season opened Sept. 2 against American in the first game of the 2005 D.C. College Cup, a tournament it failed to win. The GW squad endured 110 minutes of arduous play on Georgetown University's North Kehoe Field to leave with a 1-1 tie.
The squad took its energy into the next game and defeated Howard 3-0 Sunday. Georgetown was victorious in both of its games against American and Howard, giving the Hoyas the College Cup crown. GW finished second with a 1-0-1 record for the tournament.
GW 3, Howard 0
After being out-shot by American 13-5 on Saturday, GW rebounded in a strong game against Howard University. The Colonials controlled play from beginning to end, out-shooting the Bison 29-7. The team's first score came five minutes, 10 seconds into the first half from junior Joseph Siegel, with sophomores Greg McKay and Joachim Walker assisting.
The next tally was registered two minutes into the second half by senior Andre Chapman after senior Steve Brown out-dueled a Howard defender. The assist moved Brown into a tie for seventh on the Colonials' career assists chart. Ben Mortimer, a senior and one of the team's three captains, sealed the victory in the 77th minute after receiving the ball from sophomore Thomas Stuber, who was served the ball during a free kick taken by sophomore David McConoghay. The assist was McConoghay's first.
Derek Bliss was replaced in net by sophomore Greg Yahr in the 80th minute. He made GW's only save of the game.
American 1, GW 1
The game started off slowly, with ball control alternating between the two teams. GW made three shots on goal in the first half while American came away with five. The men went into halftime scoreless.
As the playing time increased, however, so did the game's excitement. Biss saved multiple shot attempts early in the second half, and as the Eagles' offense continued to penetrate, the Colonials' defense sustained the attacks to keep the game scoreless.
"Defense was amazing," Biss, who registered 12 saves, three less than his career game-high, said. "With Trevor (Martin) and Ben (Mortimer) out -
The two key defensemen did not play due to red cards earned in the team's final game last season - "that's two starters right there. Only one kid in the back today was actually there last year, so to come out with a tie against a team as good as American was a very good result."
GW was first to break the tie on a goal by McKay in the 74th minute. He was set up with a pass from senior Frank Ambrosio followed by a headshot from junior Arturo Pedroso.
"We were really tired at the end, but we dug deep to pull out those points," McKay said.
The lead was short-lived, however, as American evened the score nine minutes later.
Play remained even for the rest of regulation before American took control in overtime. Once again, the defense stepped in to prevent the Eagles from scoring during the two 10-minute overtimes. "We have a pretty experienced group back there (in defense)," Biss said. "We've absorbed pressure before. When things like that happen, we just have to make sure that every man is marked."
Overall the team was satisfied with its performance against the Eagles, but knows that there is still work to be done.
"For our first game, I thought it went real well," McKay said. "I think as a team we still need to work on defensive shape and standing position, and offensively we need to do a better job at finding our forwards.
"I want to be optimistic and say that we'll get another (A-10 tournament championship), but it's going to be some hard competition. American's a good team, and even though some might say that we were outplayed, we still pulled out those points and that's going to be crucial in the A-10 this year."
The Colonials, whose record stands at 1-0-1 after the tournament, next faces Delaware on the road on Sept. 11. It will mark the first match-up between the two teams.