GW Men's Soccer Secures Key Points in 3-0 Victory at Massachusetts
Oct. 28, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - The George Washington men's soccer team captured a critical three points Friday with a 3-0 shutout at Atlantic 10 foe Massachusetts. Senior Yoni Berhanu and juniors Seth Rudolph and Mattia Melillo continued their torrid goal-scoring pace by tallying against the Minutemen at Rudd Field.
The victory moves GW to .500 overall on the season at 6-6-2, and also puts the Colonials in a temporary tie for first place in the A-10 with 12 points and a 4-2-0 conference record. Six additional matches will impact the league table Friday night.
"We needed it and the players played their best of the season. The timing was perfect," said head coach George Lidster, who now has 197 career victories in his 24th and final season at GW. "I thought it was a team effort, they played fantastic both offensively and defensively."
Rudolph tallied his fourth game-winning goal of the season via a free-kick service assist from sophomore center back Alex Sandland in the 24th minute. Rudolph was able to win the 50-50 battle for possession and sent a shot in off the post for the deciding goal.
Junior Zach Abaie facilitated goals at the 58:52 and 59:52 marks to cement the Colonials' first road points of the fall. Abaie's low crossing pass from the right found the boot of Melillo, who in turn found the back of the net to make it 2-0 in the 59th minute. Abaie then picked out Berhanu with another low cross from the right wing and the senior striker's clinical 60th-minute finish put an exclamation point on a pivotal triumph for GW.
Sandland and senior Mike Burke went the full 90 minutes in defense ahead of junior goalkeeper Brendan Lafferty, who made three saves to earn his second consecutive clean sheet. Freshman defender Matthew Scott played 81 minutes in his first action in seven matches due to injury.
The contest might have had a distinctively different flavor were it not for a GW team save on Massachusetts (4-11-2, 2-3-2) midfielder David Keys' attempt on net in the 47th minute. The Colonials responded well to the near equalizer, firing the contest's next six shots, including the Melillo and Berhanu goals, over the subsequent 20 minutes.
Berhanu and Rudolph continue to rank among the A-10's leaders with seven goals and 17 points apiece this season, while Melillo has scored all of his four goals and 10 points in GW's six conference matches.
GW plays its final road match of the regular season Sunday at Rhode Island (5-9-1, 2-3-1). Snow is in the forecast for the 1 p.m., kick-off at the URI Soccer Complex.