It took fewer than 90 seconds of overtime for the Colonials to lose the game they had spent the previous 90 minutes battling to win.
GW (2-4-2) took a deadlocked game past regulation time Saturday night, before ultimately falling victim to the Wofford Terriers, just over a minute after the overtime period began. The goal, which came as GW played a man down due to a late red card, was the only score of the match.
As play began in the first half in Spartanburg, S.C., GW looked poised to take an early lead. Junior Seth Rudolph jump-started the offense as his shot in the third minute deflected off the goal post, missing a chance to push the Colonials ahead. Senior Yoni Berhanu attacked the goal 12 minutes later, only to see his attempt bounce off the post as well.
“We were very unlucky not to be up by two at halftime,” head coach George Lidster said. “[Our] shot selection was good.”
The Colonials entered halftime knotted with the Terriers at zero. As play resumed in the second half, GW continued to press offensively but couldn’t crack the Wofford defense. The Colonials’ best opportunity to break the stalemate came with 12 minutes left to play in regulation time, as Rudolph faced off against the Wofford goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation, only to again be denied.
GW’s defense, anchored by junior Brendan Lafferty in goal, kept the Terriers from scoring in regulation play, with what Lidster referred to as a “makeshift back four.” With four players sitting out due to injury, GW’s back field was filled by senior Mike Burke, sophomores Alex Sandland and Abdul Shaban and freshman Joe Holleran. Lafferty managed to stop repeated shots from entering the goal, finishing with a season-high five saves in the match.
“We had a lot of players missing because of injuries,” Lidster said. “Considering that, we played quite well.”
In the final minutes of the second half, sophomore Bailey Hinners was handed his second yellow card of the day, sending him off the field and dropping GW down to 10 men for the remaining three minutes. The Terriers took advantage of the man-up as the overtime period began, scoring almost immediately. Lafferty rushed from between the posts, trying to stop a ball that managed to slip through for the winning goal.
“[Brendan] did fantastic in goal,” Lidster said. “He put up some really good saves. It’s very unfortunate that the goal got past.”
The Colonials next begin Atlantic-10 play at home, taking on Saint Joseph’s Oct. 9 at 3 p.m., and Temple Oct. 10 at 1 p.m. Lidster has a singular focus heading into league play – returning all of his injured players to the field.
“The busiest person is going to be our trainer,” Lidster said. “We have to get as many healthy bodies on the field as we can.”