Colonials Athletics Weekend Preview
Men's and Women's Soccer, Women's Tennis, Men's Water Polo and Volleyball All Hit the Road
The George Washington women's soccer team looks to extend a two-match winning streak this weekend when the Colonials head to nearby Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Invitational. GW will face Towson on Friday at 4 p.m., and Rider on Sunday at 12 p.m.
The Colonials earned their first two victories of the 2012 season at home last weekend, also giving first-year head coach Sarah Barnes her first career victories with the Buff and Blue. On Saturday, GW defeated Columbia, 1-0, on a game-winning goal by junior midfielder Alex Neal in the 63rdminute. The Colonials went on to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Cornell on Monday on the strength of three second-half goals.
Neal scored two goals on the weekend and was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Tuesday, her first honor since twice earning Rookie of the Week accolades during the 2010 season. Freshman goalkeeper Nicole Fasano picked up her first career victories while also posting her first career shutout against the Lions.
Towson is winless through five matches this year, owning a 0-4-1 overall mark. The Tigers most recently tied Loyola (Md.), 1-1, last Friday before falling to Maryland, 5-0, on Sunday. Senior Cheyenne Skidmore leads the team in scoring with two of the Tigers' three total goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Quinn has set aside 30 shots on the season while allowing 13 goals.
Rider is unbeaten through four matches this season - including three shutouts - and most recently defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 2-1, on Sunday. Freshman Tara Ballay leads the Broncs with two goals and an assist and junior Jody Sokol has two goals.
Admission to the Navy Invitational is $7 for adults and $5 for kids under 18. Fans who purchase tickets to Friday's contest may return with the ticket stub for free admission on Sunday. Fans wishing to attend the Navy Invitational cannot drive onto United States Naval Academy property without a Department of Defense sticker on their vehicle. Instead, visitors are asked to park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for a fee of $5 and take the free shuttle to game. Shuttles will begin running an hour prior to the start of contest and will continue running an hour after the contest is over. Maps, directions and a game day guide for the USNA can be found here.
Spring Hill Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational
GW vs. #16 Tennessee - Friday, 5 p.m. | Gametracker | @GW_Volleyball
After a brief stop at the Charles E. Smith Center for its home opener earlier this week, the George Washington volleyball team will make the short trip to College Park, Md., to participate in the Spring Hill Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational hosted by the University of Maryland on Friday and Saturday.
The Colonials will face their third nationally ranked team of the 2012 season in No. 16 Tennessee on Friday evening at 5 p.m., before facing the host Terrapins and Boston College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.
GW (2-6) is coming off its second straight win after defeating UMBC, 3-2, on Wednesday night in its home opener at the Smith Center. The Retrievers forced a decisive fifth set, but the Colonials swung a match-high .556 in the final frame en route to their first home victory of the season. The Colonials are now 13-1 at home under head coach Amanda Ault and have a record of 35-10 at Tex Silverman Court over the past five seasons.
Senior Lauren Whyte, who has recorded consecutive double-doubles, leads the Colonials' attack with 96 kills (3.31/set) through the first eight matches. Sophomore Kelsey Newman ranks second on the team with 74 kills (2.74) while redshirt freshman Jessica Lubic has tallied 262 assists (9.03/set) and a team-high 12 service aces thus far this season.
Maryland (4-2), Boston College (4-3) and No. 16 Tennessee (4-2) all carry winning records into the tournament.
Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament
The George Washington men's soccer team will compete in its second tournament in as many weekends when it heads to Lexington, Va., for the Jay Sculley Memorial Tournament hosted by VMI. The Colonials will take on the host Keydets on Friday at 4 p.m., before facing Liberty on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
GW (2-1-0) is coming off a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Howard in the 12th annual D.C. College Cup on Saturday. Junior Bailey Hinners' first career goal in the 69th minute proved to be the game-winner. Following the game, Hinners and classmate Tyler Ranalli were named to the All-Tournament Team. Ranalli leads the Colonials with two goals and four points on the season, while sophomore Joe Holleran has the assist on both of Ranalli's tallies.
VMI (0-2-0) has not scored a goal in its first two matches this season following losses to NJIT and Mount St. Mary's, and the Keydets have managed just seven shots on goal in those two contests. VMI, which finished 2011 with a 1-15-2 record, returns its top five scorers from a year ago, including senior Kip Zechman, who led the team with three goals and eight points in 2011. GW is 3-0-0 all-time against VMI, but the teams have not met since 2001, a 5-2 Colonials' win in the first-ever match played at the GW Soccer Field on the Mount Vernon Campus.
Defending Big South champion and 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifier Liberty (1-1-0) is coming off a 3-0 win over Longwood on Saturday. Three different players have scored the Flames' three goals on the year. Last season, Liberty led the Big South in fewest goals allowed (0.95 per game) and shutouts (9), and goalie Scott Sutarik ranked seventh in the nation with a 0.56 goals-against average. However, after outscoring their opponents, 38-19, in 2011, the Flames graduated six of their top 11 scorers. GW is 3-1-0 all-time against Liberty, but the teams have not met since 2000, a 4-1 Colonials' win at the D.C. Classic.
MEN'S WATER POLO
The George Washington men's water polo team puts its perfect 4-0 record on the line this weekend at the Princeton Invitational, which will pit some of the best teams from the East and West Coasts in a potential early preview of the 2012 NCAA Championship.
The Colonials open the tournament on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. against 2011 national runner-up and No. 2 ranked UCLA, then face MIT at 6:45 p.m. The second day of competition on Sunday features matches against 18th-ranked Brown at 2:15 p.m., and Fordham at 4:45 p.m.
GW is 4-0 for the first time since 2006. The Colonials outscored their opponents, 66-30, at the season-opening Navy Open last weekend. Sophomore Brian Mojica led the way with 10 goals and eight assists, while junior Nate Little and freshman Bogdan Petkovic also scored 10 goals apiece. Petkovic was named CWPA Southern Division Co-Rookie of the Week for his performance, while senior goalkeeper Cameron Illes earned Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
UCLA (3-0) outscored its opponents, 46-17, at the season-opening UCLA Invitational, while MIT is coming off a 2-3 showing at the Brown Labor Day Invite. Brown is off to a perfect 7-0 start after its kickoff tournament, and Fordham also opened at Brown's tournament, losing all five matches.
The George Washington women's tennis team opens 2012 fall action this weekend at the Tiger Classic in Towson, Md., at the Towson Center Tennis Courts.
The Colonials will compete against Delaware, Howard, Mount St. Mary's, fellow Atlantic 10 member Saint Joseph's and host Towson during the two-day tournament. This weekend marks the first round of fall competition for all competing squads. Pending unforeseen weather circumstances, Sunday will serve as a makeup day, if necessary.
At the 2011 Tiger Classic, GW posted a perfect 5-0 record over the course the weekend. The Colonials, who have added four newcomers, return five players from last season's squad that posted a 16-7 overall record and reached the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship for the third straight year.