Men's Soccer Topples #1 Seed Massachusetts at A-10 Tournament, 4-3
Nov. 15, 2002
RICHMOND, VA - The George Washington men's soccer team won a shootout versus defending champion and first seed Massachusetts in the first round of the 2002 Atlantic 10 Tournament on a last second goal in overtime.
GW (12-8-0) fell behind on an early goal in the eighth minute by the Minutemen's Jeff Deren, the Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year. Deren received a pass from Martin Burwell through the box. Deren beat the defender to the ball and fired a shot pas the diving keeper, junior Eric Lund (Wasilla, AK/Bradenton Academy (FL)).
GW dodged a bullet later in the half, as what appeared to be the Minutemen's second score of the game was disallowed as the attacker was called offsides.
The Colonials tied the match on a penalty kick that was awarded to GW when a Massachusetts defender pulled down senior midfielder Michael Goldman (Bethesda, MD/Bethesda-Chevy Chase) in the box. Junior forward Arnar Johannsson (Reykjavik, Iceland/C. C. of Iceland) converted the penalty kick to knot the game at one goal apiece with 13:47 left in the half.
The half proceeded at a frenetic pace as UMass increased the offensive pressure, making a series of runs that GW turned away each time However, it would be the Colonials that capitalized on one of their runs in the final minute of the first half. Freshman Steve Brown (Stony Point, NY/North Rockland) made a pinpoint pass into the box to Johannsson, who one-timed a shot past the keeper with 51 seconds remaining in the half.
Despite holding a 2-1 lead after the first half, the Colonials established their attack in the second half, turning the tables on the Minutemen, making run after run against the UMass defense. When the Minutemen did penetrate into the Colonials' end, GW made clutch defensive plays, with Lund turning away shots with athletic saves.
However, UMass would not go quietly and tied the match in the 60th minute of the match when Deren scored his second goal of the game. UMass forward Colin Vint passed to Deren in the box who beat Lund in the mouth of the goal.
The Colonials never gave up despite being out-shot 12-5 in the second half. While GW had fewer shots, the Colonials scored their third goal of the match when junior back Jason Popik (Syosset, NY/Syosset) served the ball to Goldman in the box, who in turn found senior Matthew Osborne (Bingham, Nott, England/Toothill Comprehensive) streaking to the goal on the left wing. Osborne powered the shot between the pipes to give the Colonials the 3-2 lead with 6:30 remaining in the match.
However a questionable call by the referee with just 28 seconds left on the clock gave UMass the chance they needed to tie the score. UMass served a high pass into GW's box and the players from both teams converged as Lund jumped up to knock the ball out of the air. As the ball landed among the mass of players, it hit off a GW player's are. A handball was called, and penalty kick awarded to the Minutemen. Deren converted his third goal of the game for Massachusetts, and tied the match at 3-3, sending it to overtime.
The two teams battled to a stalemate for nine minutes and 59 seconds of the ten-minute overtime period, each nearly ending the match with a narrowly missed shot. With time running down, the Colonials made one last run. Junior midfielder Jeremy Catlin (Clarksville, MD/Oakland Mills) passed the ball through the box to Osborne, who served it into the mouth of the goal. Johannsson was on the spot, and headed home the game-winner with one second left on the clock.
The Colonials advance to the Atlantic 10 Tournament final on Sunday, November 17, in a 1:00 p.m. match versus the winner of #2 Duquesne and #3 Richmond. The match will be held at the University of Richmond Stadium.