Men’s soccer dominates Brown in home opener

Media Credit: Eric Lee | Staff Photographer

Brown forward Malcolm Johnson collides with graduate student midfielder/defender Sandro Weber during Saturday's game against Brown. The Colonials beat the Bears 2–0.

An explosive first half on offense and steady defense in the second frame helped men’s soccer capture its second victory of the season Saturday.

The Colonials (2-2-1) defeated Brown (1-2) after gaining an early first half lead. The Colonials’ defense held the line and nabbed a 2–0 win.

“It feels really amazing to get two wins in a row,” graduate student midfielder/forward Sandro Weber said. “We played well in the first three games, but we just didn’t score so the last two games – today and Tuesday – we did better.”

Weber and senior midfielder Max Holdsworth each netted one goal a piece. Graduate student midfielder/forward Haukur Hilmarsson and Holdsworth each earned an assist on Weber’s goal.

By the final horn, the Colonials had outshot their opponents 18-10. On the other end of the pitch, freshman goalkeeper Justin Grady collected three saves.

The Colonials dictated the pace in the first half, earning a penalty kick inside the fourth minute of play. Weber broke through the Bears’ defense and made a move toward the goal before being fouled inside the box.

Holdsworth stepped up to take the penalty. Sophomore goalkeeper Max Waldau dove to the left while Holdsworth placed the ball high and to the middle of the net to give the Colonials the lead.

The Colonials knocked two shots toward the goal, but both travelled wide before the squad found the back of the net again.

About 20 minutes later, the Colonials hammered another ball between the pipes. A quickly taken free kick caught the Bears off guard, allowing Hilmarsson to carry the ball toward the net. Weber, who made a run toward the back post, buried the ball into the roof of the goal and put the Colonials up 2–0.

“We just wanted to keep the momentum going from the game on Tuesday, the last game against Liberty,” head coach Craig Jones said. “We know we’re capable of scoring out wide so we try to go out wide a little bit.”

By the end of the half, the Colonials descended into the locker room holding a comfortable 2–0 lead and outshooting Brown 11-2.

The Bears came out strong in the second half, earning seven corner kicks on the attack. Although the Colonials’ defense held strong against a revitalized attack, Grady, who went untested in the first frame, was forced to make a handful of saves throughout the half.

“Justin has come in as a freshman goalkeeper and he’s been absolutely solid for us,” Holdsworth said. “So all around I think it’s a really good team effort and a good way to go forward.”

The team laid on the pressure, scoring three times over a span of two minutes and forcing Waldau to step up and make saves.

The Colonials retained their two-goal lead and secured the clean sheet. Brown powered three shots on goal to GW’s 10 shots at the Bears’ net. Weber, senior midfielder Drini Redzepi, and freshman forward Liam Emson led the team in shots with three a piece. All three of Emson’s were on goal and two of Weber’s were on goal.

Despite the win, Weber said the team needed to clean up its turnovers and anchor its possession.

“The second half wasn’t that good,” Weber said. “We definitely need to improve our possession. We had a lot of turnovers in the second half. We’ll try to improve it in the next games.”

The Colonials return to action on home turf Tuesday against UMBC. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.

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