Entering Tuesday’s trip to play at No. 11/13 Virginia (NSCAA/Soccer America), redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Erik Haug had 13 minutes and three seconds of collegiate game time under his belt, all coming at the end of a lopsided win over the University of D.C. two weeks before. Less than a half hour into the game against the Cavaliers, that number would begin to grow – a lot.
With the Colonials already trailing 1-0, freshman goalie Brendan Lafferty went down with an injury in the game’s 30th minute, suddenly creating a gap in goal that Haug would be called on to fill.
“Things happen in soccer, so I always try to stay focused,” Haug said of being inserted into the game on such short notice. “I was ready and I knew I had to step up and perform.”
Perform he did, minding the net for the remainder of the game as GW tied the score and took one of the nation’s top teams to overtime. But two minutes into extra play – nearly 63 minutes into Haug’s night and almost 76 into his on-field career – Virginia’s Neil Barlow redirected a deflected pass past Haug, giving Virginia a golden goal and an instant 2-1 win.
After allowing the Cavaliers to score on a sixth-minute penalty kick, the Colonials (3-3-0) were able to hang with their nationally-ranked hosts, holding them to just four total shots on goal including their two scores.
GW was able to equalize the score with a goal just shy of the game’s 79-minute mark when sophomore Mike Burke headed a cross from fellow sophomore Yoni Berhanu to make his first collegiate goal one to remember.
“It definitely intensified the game and gave us that momentum to keep pushing,” Haug said. “A goal is always energizing.”
The Colonials were able to channel that energy and preserve a tie for the next 10 minutes, carrying the game to overtime. That extra period would not last long, however, as one minute and 59 seconds later the Cavaliers broke the tie and ended the game.
Next the Colonials will return home Saturday to host Mount St. Mary’s, a team they have beaten the last two seasons. Haug said the team will use Tuesday’s narrow loss at Virginia as a “learning experience” as it moves forward in the season.
“We showed we’re capable of playing with any team,” Haug said. “It’s definitely something to build off.”