The GW men’s soccer team put itself in a position to return to the Atlantic 10 Tournament after two convincing wins against conference rivals Fordham and LaSalle this weekend at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex. The team’s seniors led the way, as Fabio Andrade, Arnar Johannsson and Jason Popik combined for four of the team’s six total goals.
GW is now tied for fifth place with Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and only two of the three teams can go to the postseason. The Colonials can ensure a spot in the tournament by beating or tying undefeated Richmond Saturday at 7:30 p.m. If they lose, they will need help from other teams.
The Colonials (7-10-1, 5-4-1 A-10) came back from a 0-1 deficit in the second half Sunday against LaSalle to win 4-1. GW Head Coach George Lidster said it was a game of two halves, as GW came out of the locker room looking like a different team.
“At halftime, we had a really good talk, a bit of soul searching,” he said. “And in the second half we played like we know we can play. It was the best we played all season.”
Andrade scored GW’s first goal, taking the ball himself down the left side of the field and firing it into the opposite side of the net. The Colonials worked with that momentum and a minute later, sophomore Steve Brown found Johannsson for what would be his final goal playing at home.
Six minutes later, Andrade won a one-on-one challenge with the goalkeeper and scored his second goal of the day. Sophomore Trevor Martin finished the scoring with a perfectly placed shot that curved into the goal.
After scoring two goals in his final home game, Andrade said he was proud of himself and his team.
“We realized we were losing too many games, and we had to start stepping it up if we’re going to make it into the tournament,” he said. “Everyone wants it, and the seniors definitely don’t want to go out their last year without making it to the tournament.”
Friday’s 2-1 overtime win over Fordham started the same way, as GW was unable to score early. With the game tied at 0-0 in the 77th minute, Johannsson missed a penalty kick, but the Rams could not clear the ball. Popik found Martin, who shot it past the goalkeeper from eight yards out to take the lead. But Fordham tied it up two minutes later off of a penalty kick to send the game into overtime.
Six minutes into sudden death, sophomore Frank Ambrosio sped down the right side of the field and crossed the ball to Popik, who scored the game-winner.
With a berth in the conference tournament riding on each game, Lidster gave his team credit for stepping up this weekend after a 1-6 start to the season.
“We just really haven’t put it together consistently,” he said. “It might be too late, but we’re still in it, going right down to the last game. The young players are coming through right now, and it’s really exciting.”
Saturday’s game, the final game of the regular season, is at Richmond at 7:30 p.m.