The GW men’s soccer team shut out Rhode Island Sunday, 1-0, to bounce back from a 3-0 loss to Massachusetts Friday in the Colonials’ first weekend of conference play.
In both contests, no one was able to score in the first half. But on Sunday, the Colonials (3-7, 1-1 Atlantic 10) took control after halftime to win their first conference game.
In the 67th minute, sophomore Steve Brown found freshman Joseph Siegel in front of the goal. Siegel nailed the ball past the Rams’ goalkeeper and into the bottom left corner of the net for GW’s lone goal of the weekend.
“It felt really good to be a freshman and be able to win the game for the team,” Siegel said. The Colonials had not beaten the Rams (4-6-1, 0-1-1 A-10) in Rhode Island in over a decade.
Junior Matt Miller gave his team credit for keeping pressure on the Rams even after they took the lead.
“We never let up in the second half,” he said. “Usually, when we score, we let down. But once Joe scored, we kept going and played well.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Derek Biss recorded nine saves Sunday to get his first shutout of the season.
In Friday’s game against the Minutemen (7-2, 1-0 A-10), the Colonials were not able to produce a similar second half. Although GW took more shots after the break, the Minutemen scored three goals.
Massachusetts scored its first goal almost 20 minutes into the second half. GW let another goal in three minutes later and Miller said they could not get back into the game after that.
Despite Friday’s loss, Siegel said Sunday’s showing gave him confidence that GW can qualify for the conference tournament.
After one of the worst starts in the team’s recent history, Miller said the victory in Rhode Island was just what the team needed to turn the season around.
“Last year, (Rhode Island) was one of the turnaround games for us,” he said. “We can gain a lot of momentum from a game like this.”
Next weekend, GW will attempt to maintain that momentum as it faces St. Bonaventure Friday at 3 p.m. and Duquesne Sunday at 1 p.m. at Mount Vernon.