Winning now is nice. But sometimes, winning tomorrow is better.
With a 2-6-1 record behind them, 1-2 in the Atlantic 10, and eight conference games remaining, the GW men’s soccer team will play out the season with one eye toward the scoreboard and one eye toward next year. For a great many of these young players, there will be a next year, and a year after that – and perhaps a year after that.
“We’re very, very young,” said Coach George Lidster Wednesday before his team left Thursday for a New England road-trip.
“No doubt it’s not just a rebuilding year – it’s a year where some foundation will be put in place,” he said. “We start eight or nine freshmen and sophomores. It’s important for them to get used to playing at this level.”
The Colonials started the season with a tie and a win but then went on a five-match slide that ended last Friday against Fordham. Sunday, GW dropped a 1-0 overtime loss at home to La Salle.
“We totally outplayed La Salle and couldn’t buy a goal,” Lidster said. “It’s really our youth and inexperience. We can’t put teams away.”
Although wins have been few and far between, Lidster still
plays to win, hoping that some success will help the team down the road.
“We’re not getting hammered by any teams,” he said. “But we’re just not there yet.A few wins will help their confidence. We still have to be positive. The freshmen and the sophomores are continuing to improve. The La Salle game was the best we’ve played all season. That’s going to be the tough job – to keep their confidence up for the rest of the season.”
Several of the young players emerged this year as team leaders for now and the future. For stretches this season, sophomore midfielder/defender Mike Goldman led the South Atlantic Region in assists. Sophomore forward Jason Holloway leads the team with six goals (the rest of the team has a combined seven). Sophomore goalkeeper Nick Parypinski has stepped into several matches and played all 111 minutes Sunday.
“Mike Goldman – he’s starting to run the show, if you like,” Lidster said. “He gets in position to score, but he’s just not quite strong enough or experienced enough to slot them away.”
Although Lidster won’t predict wins and losses in this final month, he will admit some tough matches are ahead.
“I was hoping to be 3-0 (in the A-10) at this point,” he said. “We’re very unfortunate not to be. We should have won both games that we lost. We have two real tough away weekends (this weekend at UMass and Rhode Island and Oct. 22 at Dayton and Oct. 24 at Xavier). So, we have to win our home games.”