The GW men’s soccer team defeated Radford University 3-1 in a physical match Sunday at the Mount Vernon field. It was the team’s final game before conference play.
GW’s defense set the game’s tone early by keeping Radford away from the goal. The Colonials countered a Radford offense that controlled the ball early on, and it did not take long before GW’s offense scored first.
At the 14:50 mark, GW forward Matthew Osborne scored his fourth goal of the season off a free kick that was tapped in his direction, giving the Colonials a 1-0 lead.
Moments later GW (3-2) went up 2-0 when midfielder Michael Goldman kicked the ball into the lower right corner of the net on a breakaway. It was the second goal scored in three minutes. Fabio Andrade and Riccardo Forno assisted on the play.
The teams battled closely for the rest of the first half as play became increasingly physical. Midfielder Matt Pilkington left the game after a hard collision with Radford goalkeeper Andrew Essey with 22 minutes remaining in the first half
“I just ran into the goalkeeper and his knee got me right in the lower back,” Pilkington said after the game. Pilkington said he already had a bad back, but the injury was not serious. He later returned to the game.
In the final minutes of the half, Arnar Johannsson scored his first goal of the season on a long pass from Fridrik Omarsson to put the Colonials up 3-0.
Radford (1-5) finally struck back in the 40th minute of the half when T.J. Rolfing kicked the ball past GW goalkeeper Nick Parypinski on a cross from Erick Sokolik, cutting GW’s lead to 3-1 at the half.
The second half was equally hard fought, as physical play continued to leave players from both teams laying on the ground. While the Colonials controlled the game throughout most of the second half, their lead was protected several times by Parypinski, who had six of his nine saves in the final 45 minutes.
“Nick was a bit shaky at first, but he made a lot of saves later on that kept us in the game,” head coach George Lidster said. “He came up big at the end, which was important.”
Goldman offered more praise for Parypinski: “I said at the beginning of the season that we were going to live and die by Nick,” he said. “And we’re living by him now.”
Lidster said he knew that Radford, which was coming off a 2-0 loss to nationally-ranked Duke, would be a tough opponent for his team.
“We knew they were going to be a hard-fighting team, and that’s what they were. So it was a good win for us,” he said.
Lidster said he was also happy with the way his team won.
“We had some beautiful moves creating goals and crisp passing,” he said. “So I was happy with the aggressiveness, but also the rhythm of the team is starting to come together.”
Goldman said he was proud of the team effort it took to win such a physical game.
“People were coming off the field not even being able to see straight,” he said. “And everybody just put everything they had into the game.”
Goldman also said the team controlled the game by playing the way they wanted to from the beginning.
“I think we showed that we weren’t going to let them come in here and take a game from us,” he said. “We played our game the way we wanted it to be played, with quick goals and quick shots.”
After losing to St. Francis last week, the victory puts the team on a high note going into conference play, which starts next Saturday against Richmond.
“This was a good team we went up against, and it’ll prepare us well for Richmond next week,” Goldman said.