The recent attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon caused GW coaches to cancel practices and forced athletic department officials to consider their next step.
The GW men’s soccer game against St. Francis College, originally scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at the Mount Vernon field, was postponed and may not be re-scheduled.
Most GW athletic competitions will proceed this weekend as scheduled, including the GW Volleyball Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the Smith Center.
As of print time Wednesday night, the make-up date for the men’s soccer match had not been set, and the match may not be rescheduled, Athletic Director Jack Kvancz said. He said this week is the most convenient time for GW to reschedule because it is still a couple weeks before conference play begins.
Pat Farabaugh, the sports information director at St. Francis, said the school rejected the original makeup date – Thursday afternoon – out of respect for the families who had been affected by Tuesday’s attacks in New York and the Pentagon.
“We want to concentrate on what matters,” Farabaugh said.
Besides this weekend’s GW women’s tennis match at the West Virginia Invitational, the men’s soccer game is the only postponed match. Kvancz said he hopes to return to a normal schedule and does not want to postpone additional games.
This weekend, American, Princeton University and Villanova University are scheduled to participate in the GW Volleyball Invitational. Mary Jo Warner, GW’s senior associate athletic director, said this tournament has not been cancelled, but teams might be reluctant to travel to D.C.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Athletic Department did not know if any teams had pulled out. The first game is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 5 p.m., when Princeton and American will compete.
“The GW Athletic Department, like the University, is sticking to business as usual,” Warner said.
Practices of some GW teams were affected by the attacks at the Pentagon Tuesday morning. Men’s soccer head coach George Lidster said he and the Colonials watched the burning twin towers on televisions in the Smith Center and then left for practice before the Pentagon had been hit.
Lidster, who usually trails the team in his car, was walking up the lower steps of the Smith Center when he saw smoke filling the sky across the Potomac River.
“Somebody shouted, `The Pentagon’s been hit!'” Lidster said.
When he met his team at Mount Vernon, he told them of the attack and did not demand a formal practice.
“It was impossible to practice,” Lidster said. “The players just kicked the ball around.”
Lidster said the team stayed at the campus for about five hours. As Lidster drove the team back to the Foggy Bottom campus through Georgetown, he said the scene appeared surreal and was “totally deserted.”
Women’s soccer head coach Tanya Vogel said her team learned about the incidents from the men’s soccer team, which arrived at Mount Vernon at 9:30 a.m. The men informed the women’s team about what had happened, although members of the men’s team were unaware of the Pentagon hit.
Vogel said her players were a little “shook up,” but no one on the team has family working in New York City or at the Pentagon.
Butler University is scheduled to fly from Indiana to the U.S. Naval Academy for a match against the GW women’s soccer team.Vogel said Butler might withdraw from the tournament if the team is reluctant to fly. Navy is lining up an alternative team.
Cross country coach Deb Hasfurther said she cancelled practices Tuesday and Wednesday. Hasfurther said sophomore David Azari’s father works in the World Trade Center but was not injured.
Volleyball and crew held full practices Tuesday and Wednesday.