Men's Soccer Routs Minutemen in Atlantic 10 Opener
Sept. 29, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC - George Washington junior forward Thomas Stuber scored two goals for the second consecutive match as the Colonials' men's soccer team kicked off Atlantic 10 play with a 3-0 blanking of Massachusetts at Mount Vernon Field on Friday afternoon.
GW (4-4-1, 1-0 A-10) tallied a season-high three goals against a highly-touted UMass defense which entered the match with the third best team goals-against-average in the nation (0.29 GAA). The win was also the Colonials' second in a row and third of the season versus a regionally-ranked opponent. The Minutemen are currently ranked sixth in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic region. GW has also posted victories over Rider, which was eighth in the North Atlantic region at the time, and American, which was tied for sixth in the Mid-Atlantic.
Stuber struck early for the second straight game by converting a penalty kick in the second minute. Stuber gave GW an early 1-0 lead just 18 seconds into the match against Rider last Saturday. UMass goalkeeper Zack Simmons read the shot to the lower right corner, but Stuber put enough pace on the shot to get through Simmons' hands and over the goal-line for the decisive tally.
Stuber wasn't finished, however, as he gave the Colonials a two-goal advantage in the 38th minute with a right-footed, opposite-spin blast from 14-yards away. Freshman Andrew Stadler played the ball across the box from the left side and Stuber one-touched the cross past Simmons for his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
UMass seemed to gain some momentum at the start of the second half, but junior goalkeeper Greg Yahr and the GW defense withstood several charges to post the team's third shutout of the year. Yahr stopped Mike DeSantis' shot from six-yards, then secured Jason Scudamore's rebound attempt just seconds later in his most pressing action of the afternoon.
In the 77th minute, a trio of rookies linked on a GW counterattack to put the match out of reach. Freshmen Erick Perez-Segnini collected a UMass corner kick and cleared the ball to Stadler. Stadler carried through the midfield and spotted a wide-open Andrew Kroculick on the right side. Kroculick dribbled to the top of the 18-yard box and measured a shot that hit the left post and bounced into the right side-netting for his first career goal.
"We continued the momentum gained from last week's win at Rider," said head coach George Lidster. "The team's confidence is growing. Our players are starting to understand each other's style of play. I am pleased to see Thomas [Stuber] score, he's worked very hard. Andrew [Kroculick] did well to seal the game for us. Erick [Perez-Segnini] and Joachim Walker are starting to find their form. It was also good to have Jeremiah Burke back to stabilize the defense."
GW has now won back-to-back matches for the first time since a three-match winning streak in September 2005.
The Colonials held a 21-15 edge in shots and 8-5 margin in shots on goal. Yahr and Simmons posted five saves apiece.
GW continues Atlantic 10 play against Rhode Island at Mount Vernon on Sunday. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.