In the first half of the GW men’s soccer team’s game against Virginia Tech on Saturday, “control” should have been the team’s nickname. Every time there was a loose ball, the Colonials owned it. When there was a questionable call, it went GW’s way.
When the Colonials were not able to capitalize, it was due to Virginia Tech’s added pressure. The Hokies are a much more technical soccer team, said head coach Oliver Weiss. He described the Colonials as a scrappy team that will make good players work for the ball, which is a style that wins soccer games.
Weiss, a University of Richmond alumnus, was visibly upset with the officiating throughout the entire game. While leaning against the media table during the second half, Weiss expressed his discontent.
“We’re never coming back to this place, I can tell you that.”
After the contest, Weiss denied his intent to end his playing relationship with GW, saying the comment came after GW got away with a questionable call.
“I’m coming back here,” Weiss said. “I like it. ”
But the Colonials should be the least of the Hokies’ worries. As a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Virginia Tech is sure to face the nation’s best competition. In last week’s SoccerTimes top 25 coach’s poll, North Carolina (2), Duke (7), Virginia (8), Wake Forest (11) and Maryland (15) all made appearances. Playing GW to a double-overtime 4-3 victory should worry Weiss, as GW is not playing its best soccer.
Although Weiss insinuated that GW was nothing more than a pre-conference tune up for Tech, he saw aspects of their game as formidable competition.
“We are a big name on GW’s schedule,” Weiss said. “We looked at George Washington as a tough team and as a team that’s good at winning balls. They are good at that, much better than us, but we needed to stretch out. That means their strong skills are better than ours. Yeah they are a better, tougher ball-winning team than us. We have to embrace that because that’s the way to win matches. Anybody who thinks they can just walk out and play a little soccer is wrong. We’ve got some special kids, but that doesn’t mean anything.”
Sitting on the bench, shirtless, after Saturday’s match, senior captain Matt Miller was upset with the performance of his squad.
“That’s just the way we play,” Miller said. “Go after every ball. We came out strong.”
Up next for Virginia Tech is Liberty in Blacksburg, Va., followed by North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Colonials will travel to Ohio to face league rivals Dayton and Xavier.