The GW men’s soccer team earned a bid to the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the second time in the past three years after shutting out Richmond Saturday at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex. The Colonials’ fate was still uncertain after the 2-0 victory, but a Duquesne victory sealed the GW’s fate later that night.
The Colonials (11-8, 7-4 A-10) will travel to Richmond, Va. Friday for an opening-round match-up with first-place Massachusetts (12-5-2, 8-1-2 A-10), which beat GW 3-2 at Mount Vernon in early November. No. 2 seed Duquesne will face Rhode Island in other first-round action.
The Colonials needed Duquesne (12-2-5 7-1-3 A-10) to beat Saint Bonaventure to escape a three-way tie for fourth place with 21 points. In the event of a three-way tie, the team that has a better record against the next seed down would advance. That is, if Duquesne lost, Richmond would have advanced instead of GW. To the Colonials’ relief, Duquesne beat the Bonnies 3-2 Saturday night.
The Colonials held up their part of the bargain Saturday as freshman Steve Brown and senior Matt Osborne had a goal apiece in the game, GW’s last of the regular season. GW Head Coach George Lidster said the team was pleased after a hard-earned win Saturday.
“Everyone was really tense, because there was so much riding on this game, but we made our own luck today, unlike in the past,” he said. “It was a grind-it-out type game and a very good win. The first goal was fortunate, but the second one was well worked out.”
GW took a 1-0 lead on Steve Brown’s floater in the 60th minute. The goal was just the second of the season for Brown but came at a key moment, as both teams battled to a scoreless first half.
“My roommate Frank Ambrosio fed me a cross in the box,” Brown said. “I took it, realized I was all alone, and just decided to shoot. I hoped it would curl in and it did.”
The Colonials continued to control second-half play and extended their lead to 2-0 when A-10 Player of the Week senior Matt Osborne slid his team-leading 17th goal of the season past Richmond goalkeeper Jacob Hofmeister at the 76:28 mark.
“It’s a team game here, my goal wouldn’t have happened without a great pass from Mike Goldman in the box,” Osborne said after the game. “We’re virtually guaranteed to make the tournament, and this win gives us some confidence going into it.”
Richmond had several offensive chances late in the game, but with less than two minutes to go, an apparent goal was waved off because of an off sides call.
GW goalie Eric Lund continued his strong play, saving all the shots he faced en route to his 10th win of the season.
“I’m a freshman and we’re in good position to make the A-10 tournament,” Brown said. “It just doesn’t get any better than this.”