GW Men's Soccer Tops Richmond, 2-0, to Stay Perfect at Mount Vernon
Oct. 22, 2011
WASHINGTON - The George Washington men's soccer team continued its strong play at home, blanking Atlantic 10 rival Richmond, 2-0, at Mount Vernon Field Saturday afternoon. The Colonials are now 4-0-0 at Mount Vernon this season and have not surrendered a goal at the facility in better than 279 minutes of play.
Sophomore Bailey Hinners played a role in second-half goals from juniors Seth Rudolph and Mattia Melillo to help GW improve to 5-6-2 overall and 3-2-0 in the Atlantic 10. With the three points, the Colonials climb into a six-way tie for second place in the league table with six conference matches to be played Sunday. GW will look to secure its first road points of the season with trips to Massachusetts and Rhode Island next Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Head coach George Lidster, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2011 season and now has a program-best 196 victories, was quick to direct focus onto the Colonials' upcoming matches. "We're going to enjoy this win, and we're going to go to New England looking to get some results. We have to get some points."
GW bested play throughout much of the match and owned a 16-7 advantage in shots, including a 6-1 edge in shots on goal. Junior goalkeeper Brendan Lafferty collected his first victory and clean sheet of the season with one save, playing behind a staunch back line patrolled by center backs Alex Sandland and Jamie LaFleur. LaFleur nearly netted the match's opening goal in the 31st minute, but his stinging corner-kick header was saved off the line by UR's Jayson Perez.
Despite a 9-2 shot advantage, GW failed to find the goal through a scoreless first half. Sophomore Tyler Ranalli had a pair of early scoring chances, one a dangerous header that forced a sprawling save from UR goalkeeper Zac Brown. The Spiders' best chance came off the boot of Luis Perez, whose curling attempt in the 16th minute caught the top netting after whistling over the crossbar.
The Colonials broke through in the 58th minute as the A-10's leading goal-scoring duo of Rudolph and senior Yoni Berhanu linked with Hinners for the deciding tally. Hinners drove a pass wide to Berhanu, who beat a defender on the left sideline and sent a cross into the box. Rudolph raced in at the back post and rose to head in the perfectly weighted cross for his sixth goal - and third game-winner - of the season.
Hinners also initiated the attack on GW's insurance goal in the 82nd minute, finding Rudolph open on the left sideline for a centering pass to Melillo, who beat Brown on a breakaway from 12 yards away. Brown finished with three saves for Richmond, which fell to 2-11-1 overall and 1-4-0 in the A-10 with the loss.
Rudolph and Berhanu each have six goals and three assists on the season for a team- and Atlantic 10-leading 15 points.