The GW men’s soccer team went down fighting in its 2-1 loss to visiting Saint Francis University in a physical game that included 38 fouls, five yellow-card warnings and two red cards on a soggy Sunday at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex.
GW freshman defender Ben Mortimer and Saint Francis’ Mike Giardetti were both ejected for illegal tackles in a tense second half that saw six of the game’s seven cards issued.
Freshman Frank Ambrosio said the Colonials (2-3), who were shut out by the Red Flash (3-3) on the road last season, did not play aggressively enough and were simply overpowered by their opponents.
“They felt they could come out and overpower us again and they ended up doing so,” he said.
Ambrosio said he and his teammates thought this was a game they should have won but the Colonials were not aggressive enough and could not find a rhythm.
“We just weren’t in sync,” he said “The defense wasn’t right and the feel wasn’t right.”
Red Flash freshman forward Omari Aldridge scored Sunday’s game-winner to finish off the Colonials in the 65th minute. A tough Saint Francis defense held the Colonials scoreless for the remaining 25 minutes for the win.
The Colonials had fallen behind early when Saint Francis sophomore Ed Hayden placed a cross past GW goalkeeper Derek Bliss in the 27th minute. Bliss had four saves, increasing his season total to 27.
Ambrosio tied it up in the 39th minute, scoring on a pass from Matt Osborne, but the freshman was not as happy as he could have been with his first collegiate goal.
“It felt great to score but I hoped we would have won,” he said.
GW played much of the game without its leading scorer, Arnar Johannsson, who went down in the first half with an injury. Ambrosio said it was not serious.
Head Coach George Lidster kept the team for two hours after the game, discussing the physical and mental mistakes the team made, Ambrosio said. He felt the team came away with a clearer understanding of what they need to do to win.
“We got a lot of things straight in our minds,” he said. “It’s all about confidence.”
The Colonials have a four-game road stretch, beginning Wednesday at Monmouth University, to restore that confidence.