Men’s soccer aims to sustain offensive momentum through season’s end

Media Credit: Andrew Goodman | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior Alex Conning defends an opposing player during the men's soccer game against Saint Joseph's on Saturday. The Colonials defeated the Hawks 3–0 in their penultimate home game.

All season long, men’s soccer’s defense has helped the team dominate in games. The team leads the Atlantic 10 with a .66 goals against average and eight shutouts this season – tying a program record.

Sophomore goalkeeper Thor Arne Höfs has been nearly unstoppable in the net, racking up 59 saves and allowing only 9 goals against him.

But the team’s offense has not been as strong.

Although the Colonials tallied 11 goals in their first 10 games, GW experienced a three-game slump once conference play began late last month. A lack of production resulted in two double-overtime ties and an overtime loss.

Now, GW’s attack has found a second wind when they need it most.

“If we can’t score, that’s part of the game,” senior defender Sam Summerlin said Saturday. “We as a backline stay focused. That’s our job to stay in the game and keep the clean sheet.”

The Colonials found their stride midway through A-10 play, when the team came off a 1-0 loss against Duquesne to beat George Mason University 3-0 last Wednesday.

GW continued their offensive surge with another 3-0 win against Saint Joseph’s at home on Saturday, propelling the Colonials to third place in the A-10 – the closest they’ve been to a spot in the A-10 regular season championship since 2011 when they shared the title with Fordham.

In just the past two games, GW has scored six goals and conceded none – a feat that reflects the powerful performances of both the offense and defense.

“We’re starting to catch fire,” senior midfielder Koby Osei-Wusu said. “We’re getting into a rhythm. We’re starting to move the ball really well, pass the ball well and dominate games.”

Junior midfielder Oliver Curry and senior midfielder Garrett Heine have both stepped up their offensive play, together scoring all six goals for the team, with Curry contributing two goals and Heine coming up with the other four.

“We’re on a roll now,” Heine said. “It’s about time our offense is producing. I’m happy and stoked for that.”

Both players and the team’s coach attribute the upturn in play to one thing: teamwork.

“It’s really not just about the backline,” Summerlin said. “It’s about the whole team. You get everyone behind the ball working hard. We’ll get the results we’ve been getting for the last few games.”

With two games on the road coming up against St. Bonaventure and Massachusetts, the Colonials plan to build on their momentum, head coach Craig Jones said.

“Hopefully, we can keep riding the wave a little bit,” Jones said. “We have got to keep scoring goals.”

The Colonials’ next and final home game is Nov. 5 against Saint Louis, which is currently the number one team in the A-10 with a perfect record of three wins and no losses.

GW is still undefeated on their home turf on the Mount Vernon Campus this season.

“If you can stay unbeaten at home, and we’ve got one more game to go this year, it builds a reputation,” Jones said. “[Mount Vernon] is not an easy place to come and win.”

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