During the preseason, GW men’s soccer head coach George Lidster said he was concerned about his team’s lack of a dependable goal scorer.
But in Monday’s 5-0 win over Howard in the D.C. College Cup, the Colonials’ balanced offense stepped up to secure the young team’s first victory of the season. Five GW players netted a goal.
The result against Howard (0-2) helped make up for GW’s 1-0 loss to Georgetown (2-0) in the first game of the tourney on Friday.
“Now the goals are going in,” Lidster said. “People believe they can score. It’s a different feeling about the team.”
GW (1-1) junior Frank Ambrosio, a forward who had an assist Monday, said they won because they played together as a team.
“It wasn’t about single people doing their own thing,” he said. “We finally opened up the gaps and started scoring. That’s what we need to do every game.”
Sophomore Joseph Siegel recorded GW’s first goal of the season 20 minutes in. Senior captain Matt Miller and junior Andre Chapman each had assists on the play.
Two minutes into the second half, Ambrosio sped past the defenders on the right side of the field. He centered the ball to Chapman, who nailed it into the far right side of the net to give his team a 2-0 advantage.
The Colonials kept a comfortable lead for the next 30 minutes until junior Ben Mortimer headed in classmate Steve Brown’s corner kick. Then, only two minutes later, sophomore Jon Allen converted freshman Greg Yahr’s pass in the center of the box. With two minutes to go, Yahr assisted fellow freshman Steve Vogt to effectively end it for GW.
Miller, who played his second game as a defender to fill in for injured sophomore Jeremiah Burke, said that once his team scored its first goal, the players were more relaxed and able to play even better.
“This shows how much depth we have, and that we don’t have to rely on only one person,” he said. “We needed everyone on offense, and they were all able to help out.”
The Colonials out-shot the Bison 22-8 and had 14 shots on goal. The team’s offensive balance was clearly shown, as ten GW players took shots in the game.
GW’s junior goalkeeper Derek Biss played for 77 minutes and recorded three saves. Freshman Matt Scheer made his collegiate debut, saving the only shot he faced in his 13 minutes of play.
The Colonials’ performance Monday was an improvement after their 1-0 loss to Georgetown on Friday. The Hoyas scored on a corner kick 34 minutes into the first half, and the Colonials were never able to recover.
Midway through the second half, Siegel came close to tying the game by heading the ball slightly over the net. And with five minutes left, he had his second close call when he shot the ball just wide of the goal. He and Ambrosio both had three attempts apiece.
Despite the loss in the first contest, Miller said he thought his team played well in both games.
“We just needed to score that first goal,” he said. “They were lucky, it could have gone either way. Even though we didn’t score, we played with the same intensity.”
Lidster said his team needed Sunday’s win to give them confidence.
“It was important that we did get a win,” he said. “Otherwise, we would have dropped a little bit. We had to get the first game out of our system, because we’re new and young.”
The Colonials will travel to Radford University in Virginia to play this season’s first away game on Saturday.