Though the score of their game may suggest otherwise, the GW men’s soccer team’s trip to No. 11 California this weekend was still beneficial in senior Andy Stadler’s eyes.
“Cal is 11th in the nation,” Stadler said of the Golden Bears team that beat the Colonials 4-0 Friday in the 13th annual Cal Legacy Classic in Berkeley. “(Playing them) showed us what we need to work on.”
Though this was the first time GW had played California, Stadler said the team was prepared for their opponents. The Golden Bears spent last weekend in the Washington area, splitting a pair of games at Georgetown and No. 7 Maryland, offering a chance for some GW players to catch a glimpse of their otherwise unfamiliar foes.
“We certainly knew what they were like,” Stadler said.
The Colonials came out and put their knowledge to use immediately, Stadler said, gaining an early upper hand and hanging with their hosts for most of the game’s first half.
“For the first 15 minutes we dominated them,” the Hermann Trophy nominee said. At halftime, GW trailed the nationally ranked Golden Bears by just one goal.
In the second half, California junior Andrew Wiedeman, who was also named to the Hermann Trophy watch list before the season, went about changing that. Having scored the Golden Bears’ first goal, Wiedeman set up teammate Jeff Cosgriff in the 57th minute before adding a second goal to his own tally. Five minutes later, California’s Tony Salciccia scored to give the game its 4-0 final.
The Colonials’ loss came despite having a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks and collecting half as many fouls as the Golden Bears’ 10. GW managed eight shots in the game, with Stadler and sophomore Mike Burke leading the way with two apiece. Five of the shots came on goal, though all were turned away by California goalkeeper David Bingham.
Stadler said the travel aspect of the trip will help the team prepare for the road trips that await them later this season. The Colonials will play five consecutive games away from Washington during a two-week span in October.
Besides that, the Colonials also got a nice meal during their West Coast swing. The team arrived in California a day early and spent time at redshirt junior Scott Goossen’s San Francisco home before they took the field.
“We (ate) together as a team before the game, which was nice,” Stadler said.
Next the Colonials will host Longwood – a much more familiar opponent – Wednesday at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex.
“We have played Longwood for three years,” he said. “We should be back and ready to score some goals and win.”
The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.