This post was written by Hatchet reporter Agam Mittal.
After conceding a combined three goals in their last two games, the Colonials netted three goals of their own in a convincing shutout road victory over George Mason Wednesday night.
Men’s soccer (6-3-5, 1-1-2 A-10) recorded its league-leading seventh clean sheet of the year en route to its first conference win of the season. Entering Wednesday’s contest, the Colonials had just two draws and one loss in Atlantic-10 play.
“We had a lot on the line today,” senior forward Garrett Heine said. “I’m a senior, and we had two points after three games – that’s not putting us in the A-10 tournament…We felt like our backs were against the wall, we played with no fear and we went out there and got the win.”
GW snapped out of a recent offensive funk with two goals from Heine and another from junior midfielder Oliver Curry, all in the first half. Heine now has four goals on the season, tied for most on the team with sophomore forward Dylan Lightbourn. The San Diego native also leads the A-10 with five assists on the year.
Curry netted the Colonials’ first goal in the 22nd minute off a cross from Heine from the right post. Curry volleyed the ball to the far post and easily got the ball past George Mason’s senior goalkeeper Steffen Kraus. The goal was Curry’s second of the season.
“Garrett [Heine] always tells me to get onto the second post and I did for once, and I got it in with my left foot,” Curry said. “I’m just glad it went in.”
Heine quickly followed in the 24th minute with a rocket of a shot into the bottom left corner of the goal from the top-right of the 18-yard box. Redshirt senior Oliver de Thier was credited with his third assist on the year, tied for second-most on the team.
In the 35th minute, senior defender Tobi Adewole found Heine on a deep clear. Heine beat Kraus and netted his second goal of the night off a bounce into the top of the net from five yards out.
“I watched a lot of tape and noticed that we missed a lot of chances last week,” Heine said. “Today, I was feeling it and I knew I needed to produce, so I came out with a lot of aggression and a lot of passion. I was glad to put it away.”
The Colonials were once again strong defensively, requiring only one save from sophomore goalkeeper Thor Arne Höfs, who ranks eighth in the nation with a 0.857 save percentage. Höfs is tied for first in the A-10 with seven shutouts.
GW was able to preserve the clean sheet throughout a back-and-forth second half in which the Patriots were much more aggressive on offense. The Patriots attempted eight shots but had only one shot on goal, as GW’s back four thwarted a number of set pieces.
“The defense has played well all season, and some of our losses could have gone either way,” head coach Craig Jones said. “As good as we were offensively today, it’s just as important that our defense tonight kept a clean sheet. Just a very, very good team performance all around.”
The Colonials will be looking to build on Wednesday’s offensive performance when they host a strong Saint Joseph’s (6-6-1, 3-1-0 A-10) squad on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“We’re going to be playing a team that’s hot,” Jones said. “If we look for the same kind of intensity and performance that we had tonight, we’re going to have a good chance to win.”
— Craig Jones (@jonesydc) October 13, 2016