The GW men’s soccer team rebounded from a three-game losing streak and kept its Atlantic 10 tournament hopes alive with a narrow victory over visiting Rhode Island Sunday. The win salvaged the weekend for the Colonials, who dropped Friday’s home contest with Massachusetts by one goal.
The win kept GW (10-8, 6-4 A-10) in the running for the fourth and final A-10 Tournament spot, in which the top four A-10 teams will compete starting Nov. 15 in Richmond, Va. The Colonials are currently tied for fourth in the conference, adding extra importance to next Saturday’s regular season finale against second-place Richmond. The results of next weekend’s A-10 games will determine whether or not the Colonials earn a bid to the tournament.
Senior Matt Osborne netted four of the team’s five goals, making him the team’s leading scorer with 16 goals on the season. The veteran leader scored at crucial moments against both visiting teams, with two goals in the second half of each game.
GW Head Coach George Lidster gave his team credit for playing hard until the end of the game.
“This shows that they all have good character,” he said. “We’ve had a string of bad luck, so hopefully lady luck will turn our way again next week.”
GW 3, URI 2
Sunday, Nov. 3
Arnar Johannsson helped his team avoid sudden-death overtime, scoring the game-winning goal with just one minute left in regulation to cap off GW’s 3-2 comeback over Rhode Island. After a scoreless first half, Osborne tied the game with two second-half goals, setting the scene for Johannsson to put it away.
Johannsson’s 14th goal of the season was off a cross from Osborne, who took the ball off a pass from freshman Steve Brown. Osborne said the team was relieved about the way it finished after many other close games this season had gone the other way.
“It’s about time we won one in the last minute,” Osborne said. “We got good luck for once. If play that way for 90 minutes, I don’t think there’s a team that can beat us.”
Osborne scored his first goal of the game eight minutes into the second half, taking a header from senior Riccardo Forno. Almost 15 minutes later he tied the game on a cross from freshman Matt Miller.
Both the coaches and the team credited players who came off the bench for contributing big plays to help notch the win.
“Matt Miller had an important assist,” Lidster said. “It just shows that everyone contributed to this win. Everyone is finally playing as a team.”
Miller agreed with Osborne.
“Next week, if we play like we did in the second half, we’ll have no problem,” he said. “At halftime, coach made us realize that this was it, it’s do or die. We did what we had to do, and we stuck together and fought back. We definitely deserved to win.”
GW 2, Massachusetts 3
Friday, Nov. 1
Matt Osborne’s goals late in the second half were not enough to put the Colonials past UMass, anchored by the A-10 player of the week, goalkeeper Enzo Altomare.
The defense kept the Colonials out and Altomare recorded 12 saves in the match. GW’s efforts were not helped by UMass’ two first half goals that gave Massachusetts a 3-0 lead seven minutes into the second half.
Osborne scored his first in the 78th minute off of a free kick. Two minutes later, he took a pass from Johannsson at the top of the box and rocketed it into the top of the net. GW had a chance to tie it up in the last minute but the clock ran out before they could convert another goal.
The Colonials take on Richmond on Saturday at 1 p.m. for their last conference and home game.