The GW men’s soccer team split its conference road trip this weekend, winning the first game against Xavier 3-2 Friday, then falling to Dayton 2-1 Sunday afternoon.
A late header by Dayton’s Michael Nsien gave the Flyers the 2-1 edge in a hard-fought game Sunday afternoon at Baujan field in Ohio.
Tied at one since the 51st minute, Dayton (5-5-1, 2-1 A-10) took a late lead when Isename’s corner kick connected Nsien, who was right on the goal line. Nsien got a head on it and bounced it to the inside post for the game-winning goal at 94:38.
The Flyers scored early to start the game, just six minutes into the match. Christian Porto scored his first collegiate goal for Dayton on a breakaway past the GW defense and goalkeeper Nick Parypinski.
GW junior Matthew Osborne tied it 1-1 in the 51st minute after heading in a corner kick from Justin Evans.
It remained tied for over 40 minutes until Dayton’s header won the game.
The loss at Dayton was a particularly frustrating one for the Colonials, who were seeking to exact revenge on largely the same that that ousted them from last year’s Atlantic 10 Championships. Last year, Dayton and GW battled through four overtimes and a shootout before Dayton finally won.
On Friday, the men’s soccer team grabbed their first conference win as they dominated Xavier and came away with a 3-2 lead on a rainy night in Cincinnati.
Xavier struck first when Dan Limburg shot on goal in the 32nd minute of play. The shot deflected off a Colonial defender, past Parypinski for the first goal of the night.
GW quickly recovered and tied the match at one when Osborne made good on a penalty shot past Xavier goalie Brian Schaper for his sixth goal of the season.
Twenty-two seconds later, sophomore Arnar Johannsson chipped a shot over Schaeper’s head to take the 2-1 lead
The Musketeers retaliated in the 53rd minute when Rob Bakker’s corner kick reach Sam Fiore who placed it in the net with a low shot to tie the game at 2.
The Colonials remained determine, and would quickly respond with the game-winning goal. Senior midfielder Matt Pilkington blasted the game winner past Schaeper off sophomore Justin Evan’s assist. This was Pilkington’s sixth goal. He and Osborne are tied as the team goal leaders with six apiece.
Holloway said he was impressed with the team’s lately, a trait the team had to work hard at incorporating into its game.
“Our team is not known for being aggressive, but we have been in the past three or four games, and we’ve won because of it,” Holloway said. “Now that we are facing some conference powerhouses, we have to be aggressive.”
This year, the Colonials have played top conference teams early on. After playing three of the toughest teams in the conference –
Dayton, Xavier and Richmond last week – the Colonials (4-4-0, 1-2 A-10) have come away with valuable experience for what they need to do to succeed in the conference.
“We feel confident,” senior Jason Holloway said. “We have a lot of injuries and a few things we can improve on, but once we get all of our nicks and kinks out and get back on our home ground we’ll be fine.”
Holloway said that now the initial rifts are worked out after the early conference games, the team can concentrate on what they need to win- fluidity.
“Now its about fluidity,” Holloway said. “When you’re in mid season, that’s when it all comes together. It wasn’t there as much earlier in the season but it’s come a long way.”
While the team had to adapt to an aggressive style of play, Holloway said the team’s energy level and willingness to win have always been there.
“The main thing is to go out and give 110%,” Holloway said. “Everyone gives their maximum effort and when that happens, it results in wins.”
But the Colonials will need more than attitude to win, they need to stay healthy. Holloway said three starters were out with injuries this past weekend. Holloway himself may have a stress fracture in his foot. As of now he is wearing a boot on his foot and in scheduled for a bone scan Wednesday. Holloway has been out much of the season, first with a broken toe, then a torn hamstring, and now the potential stress fracture.
“It’s tough, but its part of life and you have to deal with it,” Holloway said.
The Colonials next match is a conference battle at Temple Friday at 3 p.m.