The GW men’s soccer team broke a three-game losing streak with a strong defensive stand this weekend, allowing only one goal in its two wins over Dayton and Xavier. Senior forward Matt Osborne led the offensive attack with four of the team’s seven goals during the weekend.
Junior goalkeeper Eric Lund anchored the defense with 13 combined saves for the Colonials (6-6, 2-2 Atlantic 10), who took their first two conference home wins. Lund, who had 25 saves on the season, tallied his third shutout of the season Friday against Dayton.
“Last weekend, we weren’t together,” Osborne said of the three losses. “This weekend, everyone was working together and backing each other up. You can have a team of great individuals, but if you don’t work together, forget about it.”
After two losses to Saint Bonaventure and Duquesne last weekend, Osborne said the Colonials met during the week to regroup. He credited this weekend’s wins to a new sense of team unity.
“We had a talk during the week about what we should stop and start doing, because we knew that soccer wasn’t our problem,” he said.
In Sunday’s convincing 5-1 win over Xavier, Osborne recorded a hat trick, while team-leading scorer Arnar Johannsson added two more goals.
Armed with a one-point lead in the second half, the Colonials dominated with three goals in five minutes. Johannsson started the streak by converting a penalty kick at the 73:29 mark, scoring his tenth goal of the season. Less than three minutes later, Osborne scored off a pass from junior Jason Popik. Osborne completed the hat trick and netted his ninth goal of the season two minutes later, ending the game at 5-1.
“We just smashed on a team 5-1, what could be better?” freshman Ben Mortimer said. “It was a great team effort today. The home crowd definitely lifted people. Having a lot of supportive fans helps us.”
Johannsson scored his first unassisted goal at the 11-minute mark after a steal and a fast break, but Xavier’s Nick Thompson tied the game six minutes later. GW grabbed the lead back before halftime when Osborne notched his first goal of the game at 33:07 off of a pass from midfielder Steve Brown.
In Friday’s win over Dayton, the Colonials’ defense shut down the Flyers’ offense, helping Lund to his third shutout of the season.
The Colonials scored the only goal they would need 12 minutes into the game when Goldman took advantage of a penalty kick, firing it into the top right corner of the Flyers’ goal. Lund kept the score at 1-0 for the rest of the half, keeping the opponent’s 13 shots out of the goal.
The second half turned into a battle against GW’s defense, with the Flyers
outshooting the Colonials 12-2. Osborne’s 40-yard rocket nailed the upper corner of the net in the 85th minute, securing the win.
Osborne saw these wins as confidence booster for the entire team.
“If we play like this next weekend, we’ll definitely win,” he said.
The Colonials host St. Joseph’s Friday at 3 p.m. and will also play Temple at home Sunday at 1 p.m.