The GW men’s soccer team recorded its first victory of the season on Saturday, defeating Radford University, 4-2. In their first home game, the Colonials had support from a crowd of about 200 people at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex.
GW Head Coach George Lidster said the game was a building block for his young Colonials, who came off two losses the previous weekend at the D.C. Cup.
“It’s very important, especially (after starting) 0-2,” he said. “I think any coach and any team would know it is important to win today, however we are still a long way off from where we were last season. We showed good commitment, we played in better shape and with better intensity.”
With the scored tied in the 34th minute, sophomore Frank Ambrosio placed a shot in the lower left corner of the goal to give the Colonials (1-2) a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish to the Highlanders (1-2).
The goal was set up when Miller chased down a ball that had ricocheted off a broken header attempt. After a give-and-go with senior Arnar Johannsson, Miller crossed the ball to Siegel, who redirected the pass to the middle of the field, setting up Ambrosio for the goal.
Johannsson led the Colonials offensively, scoring two goals on the day. In the opening minute of the second half, Johannsson raced for a feed from senior Jason Popik and ended up in the middle of the field with one defender to beat. Johannsson faked left, shot right and hit the lower corner to put the Colonials up 3-1.
Johannsson struck again later in the second half, as Siegel recorded his second assist of the day on his second through ball in the 61st minute. This time, Johannsson scored in the top left corner, giving the Colonials a 4-1 lead to seal the game.
Lidster said he was impressed with Johannsson’s first performance of the season in the starting lineup but stressed that his forward is still very rusty.
“Arnar has to get fit,” he said. “He had two goals today, but he could have had ten. No, no, no, he should have had ten, and last year he would of. But he’s been injured since the fall and hasn’t kicked a ball since November.”
The Colonials out-shot the Highlanders 22-17 and senior goalie Eric Lund saved seven of nine shots. Sophomore Andre Chapman scored the first goal of the game in the fifth minute on an unassisted run up the left wing.
While the seniors performed well, Lidster maintained that he is still looking for people to step up and replace the seniors that graduated last year.
“Every player is improving,” he said. “As a group, we’re learning to live without Matt Osborne, Michael Goldman, Kurt Lewis, Ricardo Forno. They were four big-time seniors who we went to. They were the Michael Jordan’s if you like. They were our go-to-guys and we have to find our go-to-guys. They’re emerging, but that’s time and experience.”