The GW men’s soccer team returned to Reeves field for the third time this season but lost a physical battle to cross-town rival American University 3-1 yesterday.
No member of this current Colonial squad has ever beaten the Eagles. American defeated GW last season after beating the Colonials in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2002.
Senior co-captain Matt Miller said his team played aggressively early on to try to end this streak.
“If we had scored first, the outcome would have been different,” he said. “We were as good as them, if not better. Today wasn’t our day, we couldn’t finish it.”
After 26 minutes of playing back-and-forth on both sides of the field, American (3-3) broke the stalemate. Four minutes later, senior co-captain Trent Wilee headed in junior Steve Brown’s corner kick to tie the game 1-1.
Brown, who tallied his 14th career assist, which now ranks him No. 11 on GW’s all-time list, credited his offensive players with trusting him and for getting to the right spot at the right time.
“My teammates all support me,” he said. “They show me space, and I just see them at the right time.”
Almost nine minutes into the second half, the Eagles converted a free kick to take a 2-1 lead. Twenty minutes later, goalkeeper Derek Biss came out to challenge American’s Sal Caccavale, but the forward nailed the ball into the far side of the net to give his team a 3-1 lead. Despite last minute attempts, GW (1-2-1) remained scoreless for the rest of the game.
Brown said he thought his team outplayed the opponent in the first half, but that the Colonials lost their intensity once American scored their second goal.
“We dominated the first half after we scored,” he said. “After they did, people put their heads down. Once we do that, there’s no chance.”
The Colonials had opportunities on the offensive side but were only able to convert one of their 13 shots, seven of which were on goal.
Miller said the team lost its momentum throughout the game, and that they need to stay consistent in the future to win.
“We have to keep our heads up and have the same energy during the whole game,” he said. “We need to sort out these mental mistakes. If we do, we’ll be amazing.”