The sun shone on Saturday at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex for the GW men’s soccer team’s last out-of-conference game. But the sun was not a telling sign for how GW fared in the contest. Despite a 3-2 halftime lead, the Colonials gave up a goal late in the second half and then another midway through double overtime to give Virginia Tech a 4-3 victory.
“We had this game,” senior tri-captain Matt Miller said. “This was a really disappointing game.”
After a 2-0 loss at Lehigh Sept. 28, the Colonials (3-3-2) returned home with hopes of defeating the Hokies in what coach George Lidster described as the team’s “toughest game of the season.”
The game began with the Colonials on the defense. The team appeared to be scrambling to keep up with the Hokies, but the pace of the game quickly changed when, halfway through the first half, sophomore Abimbola Pedro sent the ball flying over Hokies goalie Chase Harrison, who had stepped out of net. Senior tri-captain Trevor Martin took advantage of the open area and headed the ball into the center of the goal to give GW the lead. Senior Frank Ambrosio was credited with an assist.
Virginia Tech evened the score six minutes later off a header from freshman Alexander Baden that landed in the right side of the goal.
The next six minutes were action-packed, as Ambrosio and junior Joseph Siegel assisted Martin for a goal with 13 minutes remaining, followed by another Colonial score by senior Andre Chapman two minutes later. Ambrosio had his third assist of the game on Chapman’s goal, a personal game-high, with Martin also receiving an assist.
With nine minutes remaining in the first half, the Hokies were given an opportunity to score, when senior Magnus Einarsson took his second penalty kick of the season. He aimed the ball toward the left side of the goal, past the Colonials goalie senior Derek Biss and into the net. Three minutes later, Virginia Tech had a one-on-one scoring chance, with a Hokie forward challenging Biss. His shot was aimed left and Biss quickly reacted, reaching the ball with one hand and preventing Virginia Tech from evening the score.
The first half ended with GW boasting a 3-2 lead. “We came out strong, did what we needed to do in the first half,” Miller said. “The (penalty kick) was unlucky though, it would have been much nicer to have gone into halftime 3-1.”
The second half began with the Colonials attacking in much the same way as in the first half. Five minutes in, Pedro had a clear shot at the Hokies’ net. The ball hit the top of the post before bouncing vertically and landing in the hands of Harrison. Despite the Colonials’ domination, Tech was able to make a push for the GW goal. With 14 minutes remaining in the game freshman Joshua Boateng, who had assisted in the Hokies’ first score of the game, knotted the score on a shot that rolled past Biss into the left corner of the goal. Neither team was able to claim victory during regulation.
After four minutes of double overtime, senior Greg Hoach scored the winning goal on a double assist by freshmen Scott Dillie and Patrick Nyarko. Virginia Tech players and fans celebrated while the Colonials collapsed onto the field in disbelief.
Despite the loss, GW showed improvement over its past games. The Colonials had the advantage in the air, despite being at a height detriment. They won headers, especially in the first half, which they used to control game pace. They also kept better control of the ball than in games past, making successful passes and creating scoring opportunities.
The team’s strong showing brings hope for the Colonials as they head into Atlantic 10 Conference play. They will be on the road for the next two games, first in Dayton, Ohio, to take on the Flyers, followed by a stop at Xavier in Cincinnati.
“We played well (today). This is the most goals other than against Howard that we’ve scored all year in one game,” Miller said. “The part of the game that was lacking was finishing, so hopefully we can regroup from this, come back and just fly through the A-10.”