Painter lifts Colonials past Hawks in double-overtime

It took 102 scoreless minutes of play, but senior midfielder Eddie Painter finally lifted men’s soccer to victory with a golden goal in double-overtime at Saint Joseph’s Wednesday night.

The 1-0 decision marks GW’s second shutout of the season and extends its longest win-streak this year to three games.

“It’s an ecstatic feeling,” Painter said describing his game-winner. “It’s just a matter of keeping it calm and doing what you’ve done a bunch of times before, and doing it in that moment that really counts.”

GW’s defense, which has given up just two goals in its last three contests, held the Hawks to six total shots and allowed only one of those on net.

The clean sheet for senior goalkeeper Jack Lopez, who got his third straight start in net for GW on Wednesday, was the first of his career.

“Jack has been waiting in the wings since he was a freshman. He maybe didn’t take the chance earlier in the season, didn’t perform to how we would have liked to keep the number one job, but he’s taking his chance now,” head coach Craig Jones said. “Tonight he played very well, he has in both A-10 games so far, so as of now he’s [the] number one choice to start.”

After a sluggish start to the 2015 campaign offensively, the Colonials (5-5-0, 2-0 A-10) have had the magic touch as of late.

GW registered seven goals through its first eight games this season, but entering last night’s match, had combined for six in its previous two contests. The Colonials carried that momentum to Philadelphia Wednesday, registering seven shots on goal against a frustrating Hawks defense.

“[The Hawks] were defending so tightly and when they got the ball they were just kind of kicking it up, so it was one of those situations where you have to just wear them down,” Painter said.

And that’s what GW did. Each squad was assessed two yellow cards and the Colonials registered 22 fouls in the physical battle, but through 90-plus minutes, neither side could find the go-ahead.

The first overtime frame brought another scoreless 10 minutes, but GW remained eager to secure its second conference win.

In the 102nd minute, sophomore forward Christian Lawal, who was one of six Colonials to record a shot on goal in the game, found Painter up top. The veteran’s third goal on the season ties him with Lawal as GW’s second-leading scorer. Painter had scored just one goal in his career entering this season.

“I’m very happy with the performance and really happy for the players,” Jones said. “Two road games, two wins. It’s a perfect start but as a group we just move on to the next one and we know there’s still a long way to go.”

GW looks to preserve its untarnished A-10 record Saturday at home when they take on George Mason at 1 p.m.

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