Hitting the road was not a fun occurrence for the GW men’s soccer team last season – the Colonials managed just one win in seven attempts away from Foggy Bottom.
This year, GW plays 12 games away from the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex, including a six-game road stint that started Tuesday. But thanks to some crafty playing by junior Andy Stadler, this trip got off on the right foot.
Stadler scored the Colonials’ only goal against Navy, but one score was all GW would need. The Colonials moved to 2-2-1 with a dominating 1-0 win over the Midshipmen, highlighted by the Milwaukee native’s 20-yard strike in the game’s 54th minute. The win snaps the Colonials’ two-game losing streak, and also stops a five-game road skid that dates back to last year.
GW took control of the game when sophomore Ryan Ruffing received a Byron Walker service in the second half of Tuesday’s game, sending it on to Stadler on the right side. Stadler drilled the ball off a bounce, giving the Colonials a lead that would not be significantly challenged.
Stadler’s tally marked his fifth goal of the season – a number he has put up in only five matches this season. At the beginning of the week, he sat at No. 13 in the nation for goals scored. Currently, he leads the Atlantic 10 in goals and points tallied.
The game itself was a dominating display by the Colonials, who out-shot the Midshipmen 15-6, while at the same time holding Navy to only one shot on goal the entire game. Redshirt junior Matt Scheer turned away that attempt for GW’s second shutout of the season.
“We worked on a lot of the things that we didn’t do well against Loyola,” said head coach George Lidster. “We put together a much better performance – we were a lot tighter defensively, we passed the ball a lot better and we created a lot of chances even though we only scored one goal.”
GW did so without freshman Brice Carr, a regular starter on defense who had played every minute of every game this season. The Colonial was out with a pulled quadricep and did not make the trip to Annapolis.
GW will travel up to American Sept. 20 to take on the Eagles. The rest of their road trip takes GW to Mount St. Mary’s, Virginia Tech, Xavier and Dayton.
“We have to learn how to win away,” Lidster said. “We did well to hold the other team off, and it’s a good start for us.”