Men’s soccer drops fifth straight at Navy

The GW men’s soccer team looked to end its four-game losing streak Wednesday night on the road at Navy, and the Colonials were in a good position to earn a win, tied at zero going into the half.

But as it has often played out this season, the Colonials struggled mightily in the second half, allowing the Midshipmen to score in bunches after halftime and struggling to develop any consistent offensive pressure in GW’s 4-0 loss.

Things got especially tough for the Colonials (1-7) in the 50th minute, when Colonials defender Daniel Ripperger-Suhler was ejected after earning his second yellow card of the game. Up 1-0 already, Navy wasted little time scoring on the short-handed Colonials, going up 2-0 on a goal from Midshipmen forward Dave Arnold, his second of the game. Navy scored two more goals, in the 81st and 85th minute, to seal GW’s fate.

Playing a man down with a 1-0 deficit wore on the Colonials as the game went on, head coach George Lidster said.

“We gave up a goal right after the red card. Obviously it was very difficult to come back with the red card and then [their second goal],” Lidster said. “The guys didn’t give up, they kept fighting. But obviously they were very tired, playing with ten men, and they really wore us down at the end.”

The loss was the second straight start for senior goalkeeper Erik Haug, who joined the team mid-season to fill in for GW’s normal goalies, both of whom are recovering from injuries. Prior to Haug’s arrival, junior defender Jake Davis had been playing goalie for the Colonials

“He’s been doing okay, we haven’t really given him that much support, to be honest. He came out with a bit of fire today, but we really need to give him more help,” Lidster said of Haug.

The loss was also the fourth consecutive game in which GW failed to score, a trend Lidster attributes to his team’s overall youth. The Colonials had 10 shots Wednesday night – only one on goal – but Lidster saw promise in his team’s disappointing offensive performance.

“We actually put together a couple of good moves more towards the end. Obviously when you have so many losses, the confidence of the team drops a little bit. Now when we are putting together some good moves, we’re just not confident in front of goal,” Lidster said. “We’re a little bit hesitant in front of goal at the moment.”

Lidster said he was also impressed with his team’s determination, especially at the end of the game.

“We never gave up, we kept fighting. With 10 men, we could have just given up,” Lidster said. “It could have been a landslide. But we didn’t, and we kept going right until the end.”

GW will look to snap its skid Saturday against Rider, a team it beat 3-0 last season. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.

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