Updated: Sept. 18, 2018 at 9:47 p.m.
Men’s soccer came out on top 3–2 against Binghamton after sophomore midfielder Oscar Haynes Brown knocked in the game-winning goal in overtime Monday afternoon.
The Colonials (4–3–0) played from behind after conceding two goals to the Bearcats (1–5–2) in the opening nine minutes of the match. But a second-half push by GW leveled the score and forced the game into overtime. Haynes Brown’s golden goal ended the game less than two minutes into extra time.
“Let’s be honest, for 70 minutes they were the much better team, and then we get one goal and I think we were certainly the better team for the last 20,” head coach Craig Jones said. “That’s soccer sometimes.”
Haynes Brown’s eight goals on the season rank him among the top-five goal scorers nationally. Senior goalkeeper Thor Arne Hofs made three saves against Binghamton’s six shots on goal to keep the Colonials competitive in the match.
The Colonials were sloppy in possession early, paying for mistakes early in the game.
After graduate student forward Haukur Hilmarsson lost possession, Binghamton junior forward Haris Brkovic collected the loose ball nearly 25 yards from the net. Brkovic set himself up and launched a curling shot past a diving Hofs into the bottom right corner to give Binghamton the lead just five minutes into the match.
Haynes Brown managed to get a cross into the box on the other side of the field soon after, but junior goalkeeper Chris Shutler caught it and started a counter attack.
The ball found the feet of senior midfielder Connor McKnight, who cut inside and laid the ball off to sophomore midfielder Noah Luescher, who smashed a first-time shot that kissed the crossbar and went past Hofs to pave the way for the Bearcats.
“We started the game really flat, the whole starting group,” Jones said. “We just looked like we weren’t ready to play.”
Haynes Brown – the team’s top goal scorer – had just two touches in the first 20 minutes of play after the Bearcats defense tightly marked him, which left GW without a shot on target in the first half.
Binghamton’s consistent aggression and willingness to commit fouls disrupted any potential rhythm for the Colonials’ offense.
“When we move the ball quickly, we’re tough to stop, so I think some of those fouls are just smart. It’s part of the game.” Jones said. “It’s up to us to be quicker and not get caught.”
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Jones made sweeping changes to the lineup on the field, subbing in five new players and removing Haynes Brown and Hilmarsson.
“We were hoping that the starting guys could come out of that funk, but unfortunately it didn’t really happen,” Jones said. “We had to keep changing things to get back in the game.”
The second half looked much like the first, but the Colonials’ offense started opening up, registering two shots in the second frame.
With about 20 minutes left in the second half, the team’s starters returned to the field.
Less than one minute later, a long throw in from sophomore defender Joshua Yurasits found the head of senior forward Dylan Lightbourn, who flicked the ball over the onrushing Shutler for GW’s first goal of the day.
With 10 minutes remaining in the second half, the Bearcats cleared away a corner to the edge of their penalty area. Junior midfielder Drini Redzepi took possession and quickly drilled a low shot back toward the goal. Freshman defender Marcelo Lage managed to redirect the ball, and his first goal as a Colonial evened the score.
“It’s a great experience,” Lage said of his goal. “To get my first one on the board is special for me.”
GW continued to push forward and forced Shutler to save efforts from junior midfielder Max Holdsworth and Lage in the closing minutes. Fouls became more frequent as both teams pushed to find the winning goal.
The Colonials’ persistence paid off just one minute into overtime, as freshman defender Sam Reavis played a direct pass to Haynes Brown upfield. He dashed toward goal and found the back of the net to win the game for the Colonials as his teammates rushed from the bench to congratulate him.
“It’s great timing going into the A-10 in two games,” Haynes Brown said. “It was nice to get back on the scoresheet and get the confidence going.”
The Colonials return to action Sept. 25 when they hit the road to take on Duke in their final nonconference game of the season. Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.
This post has been updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that men’s soccer’s overall record is 4–2–0. The team’s record is 4–3–0. We regret this error.