Abaie's Services Guide GW Men's Soccer to Vital 2-1 Victory at Rhode Island
Oct. 30, 2011
KINGSTON, R.I. - Junior midfielder Zach Abaie assisted a pair first-half goals via set pieces played into a strong, frigid New England wind and the George Washington men's soccer team held on to defeat Rhode Island, 2-1, at URI Soccer Complex Sunday afternoon.
"The guys are very high at the moment, they've worked very hard this weekend," said head coach George Lidster, who is now two victories shy of 200 for his career (198-196-51) following victories at UMass and URI this weekend. "Both [were] tough games [this weekend] and we had to hang in there the last 15 minutes to get this final road-trip win."
The victory is the third straight overall for GW (7-6-2), which is currently tied for second in the Atlantic 10 table with 15 points and a 5-2-0 conference record. However, 10 of the league's 14 teams remain in contention for one of six A-10 Championship bids heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
The Colonials host "two tough games," according to Coach Lidster, at Mount Vernon Field this coming weekend - Friday versus St. Bonaventure (4-10-3, 0-5-2) at 3 p.m., and Sunday against streaking Duquesne (7-7-2, 4-2-1) at 1 p.m., in the final home match for Burke, fellow seniors Yoni Berhanu, Brice Carr and Jake Davis, and Lidster, who is retiring at the end of the season after 24 years at the helm. "Duquesne will be fighting for a playoff spot, and we certainly have not locked anything up yet. We need to get wins this coming weekend," added Coach Lidster.
After assisting the final two goals of Friday's 3-0 rout of Massachusetts, Abaie initiated the free-kick services that led to header goals from senior Mike Burke and junior Seth Rudolph to lift GW to a pivotal six-point road weekend through the Northeast. Following a URI foul in the 10th minute, Abaie found the head of Burke, who nodded a shot into the right side of goal to put GW ahead 1-0. Then in the 32nd minute, Abaie took a corner kick and picked out Rudolph, who converted the header for what eventually became his third game-winning goal for the Colonials in as many matches.
"[Assistant] Coach [Craig] Jones has been working on set plays all week and all the hard work paid off," said Coach Lidster.
Rhode Island (6-10-1, 3-4-1 A-10) pulled within a goal on Matt Ribbens' one-time shot from the top of the box in the 57th minute, but the Rams couldn't find the equalizer over the remaining 33 minutes. URI put three shots off target in the 74th, 75th and 77th minutes, and GW junior goalkeeper Brendan Lafferty made his fourth and final save of the day on Ross Morison's header attempt in the 88th minute to secure the important three points. The Colonials' defense was anchored by 90-minute defenders Burke, sophomore Alex Sandland and freshman Matthew Scott.
Rudolph now leads GW with eight goals and 19 points this season, and has 22 goals and 49 points through 50 career matches.