Men’s soccer was eliminated from the Atlantic 10 Championship Saturday by Loyola Chicago, marking the end of a hard-fought season.
The fifth-seed Colonials (8-8-2) fell 1–0 to the fourth-seed Ramblers (8-2-6), who were riding a six-game undefeated streak into the game and notched their only score off a corner kick in an otherwise-defensive deadlock. Following the conclusion of their A-10 season, senior midfielder Tom Cooklin and graduate forward Oscar Haynes Brown earned First and Second Team All-Conference honors Tuesday, respectively.
The Colonials managed just under a .500 winning percentage in this season, with four of their eight losses decided by only one point.
The Colonials won three of their last four conference games heading into the playoffs looking for a rematch victory against the Ramblers, who bested them 4–0 in their September contest. The game marked GW’s first A-10 Conference tournament appearance since the 2020 season, where they competed for a conference title.
The Colonials ran a 4-5-1 formation, allowing them to go toe-to-toe with the Ramblers as both teams battled for possession of the ball. The Ramblers took four shots on goal in the first 23 minutes of the game, all caught or deflected by senior goalkeeper Justin Grady to hold the Ramblers scoreless.
In the 19th minute, an attack led by junior midfielder Elias Norris ended up at the feet of Cooklin. The wind hoisted Cooklin’s kick nearly under the top bar of the goalpost, but Loyola goalkeeper Simon Jillson stopped the ball from entering the net.
Six minutes later, the Ramblers took a shot on the goal, which Grady went for, but the ball deflected into the feet of Rambler midfielder Oscar Dueso. Dueso powerfully buried it into the back of the net, and the Colonials went down 1-0 with just under 18 minutes left in the half.
Right after the goal, Haynes Brown took a shot that went over the bar of the goal. The Colonials were forced to go on the defensive in the last 10 minutes of the half when the Ramblers took three corner kicks and a shot on the goal.
The Ramblers took three shots in the first 10 minutes to kick off the second half with a quick start, but none reached the net. With 20 minutes to go, the Colonials started taking chances but couldn’t get anything on target.
With three minutes left in the game, the Ramblers played with one less man after graduate forward Fabian Becerra of Loyola received a red card following his second yellow card. The Colonials were unable to capitalize on the Rambler’s mistake as the game and their season came to a close.
The game finished with a 1-0 Rambler victory – the fifth shutout the Colonials have suffered this season.
The Colonials managed only four shots on goal through the bout, not enough to match the Rambler’s 14 shots. Between the Colonials and the Ramblers, only four shots were fired on the net, three for Loyola and one for GW.
Cooklin led the offensive push for the Colonials in their sole playoff game, firing two of their four shots on goals after setting the team-high in points through the regular season with a total of 19. Haynes Brown and freshman forward Alex Nicholson got off one shot each.
Cooklin managed three goals and 13 assists this season, the latter of which led the A-10 and was good for the second highest in the NCAA. His career-total 22 assists are good for the fourth most in program history.