The GW men’s soccer team’s two conference wins last weekend helped in its pursuit of the final Atlantic 10 playoff spot. Before the weekend, GW was tied for seventh place in the A-10, which only invites only the top four teams to post-season play.
With a 4-2 win over La Salle Friday and a 6-0 win over Fordham Sunday, the Colonials are on track to grab the fourth playoff spot. Results from other A-10 play were not available by print time Sunday.
After a 40 minute stalemate Sunday GW (7-5, 4-3 A-10) finally broke through in the final five minutes of the first half against Fordham. Senior Matt Pilkington converted a pass from freshman Rob Kirchner for his eighth goal of the season. Less than a minute after Pilkington’s goal, he assisted Matthew Osborne to go ahead 2-0.
GW picked up where it left off at the start of the second half, with Pilkington scoring his second goal of the day just under two minutes after the second half began. Junior Kirk Lewis started the play with a long ball to Osborne. Osborne then headed it to Pilkington, who netted it for the ninth time this season.
Osborne got on the board when senior Fridrik Omarsson stole the ball from a Fordham defender leaving Osborne open in front of the goal. Osborne beat out the Ram’s goalkeeper for his ninth goal of the season, and put GW ahead 4-0.
Sophomore Arnar Johannsson had another impressive performance off the bench, scoring his third goal this weekend. He blasted a shot off Mike Goldman’s assist from Pilkington’s cross to make it 5-0.
The final nail in Fordham’s coffin came from sophomore Jeremy Catlin’s assist to junior Jeffrey Lagomarsino.
The Colonials had 36 shots to Fordham’s 10.
La Salle, which led GW in the standings sitting in fourth place prior to this weekend, was no match for the Colonials Friday. Johannsson led the Colonials 4-2 over the Explorers with two goals and an assist. Johannsson’s solid performance in the La Salle came followed another impressive effort against Xavier Oct. 5 which earned him Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Week honors.
The Colonials stepped out early, taking the lead 1-0 in the seventh minute when Catlin put back a shot off Pilkington’s rebound.
The Colonials rode their 1-0 lead into halftime, as the rest of the first half went back and forth with goal-keeping preventing any other goals. GW goalkeeper Nick Parypinski and La Salle goalkeeper Stash Graham combined for 11 saves in the first half.
The scoring picked up in the second half when La Salle got on the board just after 10 minutes of play. Explorer Bob Buonochristiano scored off a cross from teammate Lou Daniele. Buonochristiano’s goal tied it at one, and it remained that way for much of the second half.
The defensive battle finally ended with Johannsson’s first goal of the day in the 78th minute. Johannsson beat his defender to grab Matt Osborne’s cross and put it in for the goal.
Johannsson’s goal charged the Colonial’s offense, as GW added two more goals and pulled away from the Explorers for good. Freshman Rob Kirchner made it 3-1 with his goal off a Johannsson header in the 86th minute. It was Kirchner’s first collegiate goal. Johannsson added another goal of his own on a pass from senior Ted Tucker to put GW up 4-1.
La Salle scored again in the final minute of the match, but the Colonials had already done their damage.
GW looks to continue a conference winning streak and gain ground in the A-10 standings as the team travels to Rhode Island to take on the Rams Friday.