The GW men’s soccer team came into Saturday’s home opener hoping to end a three-game losing streak. However, the Colonials could not muster much offense, falling to George Mason 2-0.
GW (1-5-1) missed many scoring chances down the stretch and, as a result, has now dropped four straight games.
Head coach George Lidster said the Colonials’ biggest problem this season has been offensive production. The team lost star forward Arnar Johannsson to graduation last spring and has been without a decisive scoring punch since then.
“We thought that might be a problem at the beginning of the year,” Lidster said. “And obviously it’s proven to be a problem. We don’t have a proven goal scorer, and so far nobody’s stepped up. We’re leaving teams in it. We had plenty of chances to win the game, but we’re just not scoring goals.”
In seven games, the Colonials have scored eight goals, with five of them coming against Howard, a team that has already been shutout three times.
“It’s tough for all of us to put a finger to it,” senior co-captain Trent Wilee said. “We’re creating opportunities, which is something good to say for us because it means we’re playing well. But it’s just a matter of us putting the final touch, having composure around the goal and putting the ball in the back of the net.”
Though the outcome was disappointing, Lidster said he was pleased with his team’s determination.
“I thought the effort was tremendous,” he said. “Everybody gave 100 percent, nobody quit. We took the game to George Mason. Trent Wilee certainly stepped up. Trevor Martin came back from injury and looked good, so there are a lot of positives, I think.”
GW had its chances to score, especially in the second half. With 28 minutes to play, junior Andre Chapman had an open net but could not capitalize. Three minutes later, Chapman took another shot, but it was not on target.
Chapman and junior Benjamin Mortimer led the Colonials, each registering three shots on goal. Overall, the team tallied 13 shots, five less than GMU’s 18.
The Colonials played tough defense, and junior goalkeeper Derek Biss had a strong game, tying his season high with seven saves.
For the first 67 minutes, both sides had scoring opportunities, but neither team could break through. Eventually, GMU struck first, as senior Matt Mendy knocked a rebound shot past Biss at 67:57. Mendy then followed up with his second goal of the game at 81:54 to seal it for the Patriots.
“The (GMU) keeper came up with some big saves, and their defenders came up with some big tackles,” Wilee said. “It’s frustrating … but the goals will come, we all know it’s just a matter of time before it starts to click.”