After losing two games on the road at Dayton and Xavier, the GW men’s soccer team returned to the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex for a weekend of soccer, defeating St. Joseph’s 6-1 Friday before falling to Temple 1-0 Sunday afternoon.
Temple 1, GW 0
The Temple Owls returned to Washington in a rematch of last year’s Atlantic 10 Conference Championship, where the Colonials defeated Temple 2-0. This time the Owls came out on top.
The tension between the two teams was apparent, as fights broke out among many of the players, and there was a large brawl as time expired.
“We beat them in the final last year, which they were very upset about because they were favored to win it,” head coach George Lidster said. “So obviously there’s tension. There were players (on their team) who were very frustrated last year.”
Despite the loss, GW controlled the ball for most of the game, with the Colonials having two scoring opportunities midway through the first half. One shot landed inches in front of the center of the goal before being kicked out by a Temple defender. The other bounced off the top post and behind the goal.
With three minutes remaining in the first half, Temple freshman Mike Rinker found the ball deep in the Colonials’ territory. He quickly passed to senior Tony Donatelli, who was one on one with the GW goalie, senior Derek Biss. Donatelli’s shot sent the ball flying past Biss and into the right side of the net. The halftime break left the Owls with a 1-0 advantage.
The beginning of the second half brought increased pressure from Temple. They made two attempts at goals in the first five minutes, with both rolling wide. In the 60th minute, the ball found its way into Owls territory. The Colonials took many shots on goal, particularly off multiple corner kicks, however were unable to penetrate Temple’s deep defense and goaltending.
“Scoring goals is all about composure, and when you get to that moment, you have to make a decision about what you’re going to do. We made the right decisions and shots to score, but we were just unlucky,” sophomore Abimbola Pedro said.
The Colonials were also missing senior Jon Allen and junior Joseph Siegel, who sat out due to an injured hamstring and groin, respectively. The Colonials now turn to the road, with games at Massachusetts and the Rhode Island, before returning to finish their season at home.
GW 6, St. Joseph’s 1
Senior Steve Brown and freshman Michael Rollings had two goals and an assist apiece to lift the Colonials over the Hawks.
“(The win) feels great,” Brown said. “We responded very positively.”
Pedro set the tone for the game in the 11th minute, when he received the ball from Allen and did a backwards bicycle kick to send the ball over the head of St. Joseph’s goalie Rob La Vorerio and into the left corner. Senior tri-captain Trevor Martin was also given an assist.
“I do (the bicycle kick) a lot in practice. The ball landed straight in front of me, perfect for a bicycle kick, so I decided to do it,” Pedro said.
The Hawks quickly evened the score a minute and a half later when St. Joe’s freshman Mike McInaw kicked the ball past sophomore Greg Yahr, who was starting his second game in goal of the season for the Colonials. The half’s final score came with five and a half minutes remaining, as Martin and senior Frank Ambrosio collected assists on Rollings’ header into the center of the net. It was Rollings’ first collegiate goal.
The second half brought additional excitement for Colonial players and fans, as the Hawks tired, allowing GW to control play. After 15 minutes, Brown scored with assists from Martin and Allen, followed by a second Brown goal 40 seconds later, this time with assists from Allen and Rollings.
Rollings again scored with 20 and a half minutes remaining, on an assist by sophomore Thomas Stuber. Stuber would cap off the victory with a final GW goal with eight minutes remaining. Brown and Ambrosio were given assists.
After losing four straight games, the Colonials collected their first win since Sept. 17 and their first in the A-10 conference. With the exception of the injured Siegel and the team’s other two goalies, Biss and sophomore Matt Scheer, every Colonial saw playing time.