Men’s soccer ties Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern University’s Tony Moffat headed a crossing free kick past GW goalkeeper Nick Parypinski with less than five minutes remaining in regulation, allowing the visiting Eagles to escape with a 2-2 tie at South Riding Field Saturday. The game ended in a draw despite two overtimes. The game was the fifth overtime contest for the GW men’s soccer team (3-2-2), which is now 1-2-2 in the extra session. Last season, the Colonials lost a 5-4 decision at home to Georgia Southern.

GW held a lead into the 89th minute, but committed a penalty near midfield that set up the Georgia Southern free kick. From 30 yards out, a Georgia Southern player booted the ball high and deep, past the sleeping GW defense.

We got caught ball-watching, GW sophomore Bjarni Thrastarson said. (Moffat) was at the far post defending his man when the kick came. It went over my head. I just turned around and there was a guy behind me.

Moffat headed the loose ball past Parypinski.

GW midfielder Riccardo Forno, who was serving a suspension after picking up two yellow cards last Wednesday against George Mason, said the free-kick ball was coming from above. He said the number of new GW players on the field could have contributed to the defensive lapse.

Fatigue also could have caused the lapse. Thrastarson said GW was not completely rested from the team’s heated contest with the Patriots last week. Saturday’s game was also very physical, as the teams combined for 64 penalties in 120 minutes.

The refs did a good job, Forno said. Both teams got elbowed. Both teams got called.

Thrastarson said play was physical because the field was in poor shape.

The field was bumpy, Thrastarson said. We couldn’t really play the ball on the ground.

The scoring began in the 39th minute off a penalty, when GW sophomore Matthew Osborne was taken down in Georgia Southern’s goal-box. He was awarded a penalty kick.

Osborne leaned left and kicked it in, but the referee had not blown his whistle to begin play. The goal did not count, but Osborne took advantage of a second chance, once more drilling it in the left side of the goal for his third goal of the season.

The Colonials led for much of the game and took a 1-0 lead into halftime. In the 69th minute, however, the Eagle’s offense closed in on Parypinski. Georgia Southern’s Martin Cunningham wound up and took a shot directed towards the corner of the goal. Parypinski dove and deflected the ball away, but Cunningham awaited the deflection and knocked it in to tie the score at 1-1.

Less than 10 minutes later, Osborne got inside Georgia Southern’s goal area and once again drew a penalty, which gave him a free kick. After the whistle sounded to allow the kick, Osborne tricked goalkeeper Kirk Latibeaudiere by drilling his second score of the day into the right corner of the goal.

The lead looked like it would hold up until Moffat’s late goal.

Both teams had several opportunities to score in overtime, but neither team was able to put the ball in the net.

It’s pretty difficult going 120 minutes, Thrastarson said.

The Colonials get back to action Monday afternoon with a match against Howard at South Riding Field. It will be GW’s last non-conference match as Temple heads to South Riding Field Friday.

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