Less than six minutes into the Colonials (2-3-2) match against Jacksonville on Friday, GW found itself in a hole that would only grow as the first half played out.
The Dolphins headed a ball into the back of the net, taking an early 2-0 lead. By the 20th minute, the Colonials found themselves down 3-0.
“It was our worst start of the season by far,” head coach George Lidster said. “They came at us right out of the gate. They caught us asleep.”
At halftime, Lidster attempted to answer his team’s offensive woes, making the switch to a 4-3-3 formation. The Colonials tallied their loan goal of the day on a converted penalty kick from senior Yoni Berhanu in the 62nd minute. Despite the ramped up offensive effort in the second half, GW couldn’t overcome Jacksonville, falling 3-1.
“We built too big of a hole in the first half,” Lidster said. “We got one goal, but it wasn’t enough.”
Heading into their second match of the weekend against Stetson, Lidster made several changes to his starting lineup, notably at goal with junior Brendan Lafferty, who had been sidelined by injury over the past four games.
With the addition of fresh legs in the lineup, the Colonials battled through a back-and-forth first half. Stetson was able to break the stalemate in the 38th minute, but junior Seth Rudolph equalized soon after, sending GW into the half deadlocked at one.
The Colonials came out of the half strong. A foul set up a penalty kick for GW in the 73rd minute, and Berhanu was once again successful on his attempt, pushing GW to a 2-1 lead with 27 minutes to play.
With three minutes to play, the Colonials gave up a free kick, as Stetson was able to convert the long attempt into a game-tying goal, knotting the score at 2-2. Regulation play ended with the score tied and the teams played 20 minutes of extra time, but neither team was able to score. The match ended in a 2-2 draw, but overall, Lidster was pleased with his team’s performance.
“Apart from the goal in the last four minutes, I was very pleased with the fight,” Lidster said. “We passed the ball very well and kept possession very well. We played a lot better than Friday.”
The Colonials next face Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C. Oct. 1.