Freshman Oliver Curry attempts to evade a Harvard defender in a game earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo
This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ellee Watson.
Men’s soccer edged a struggling Saint Bonaventure team 1-0 in a critical A-10 match Friday, with another strong showing by the team’s freshman class.
GW, Saint Joseph’s and Davidson were tied for seventh in the conference with four points in the A-10 entering the week. The Colonials’ win against the Bonnies improves their total to seven points with four conference games remaining.
Freshman Christian Lawal scored in the 55th minute of play off an assist from fellow freshman Oliver Curry to put the Colonials up 1-0.
The assist marks Curry’s third assist in the last week, after contributing one against La Salle and another against Saint Joseph’s. Curry, who entered Friday’s game ranked eighth in the conference in assists, now has a team-high four assists on the season.
Head coach Craig Jones decided to change his team’s formation against the Bonnies, starting Lawal at the top of the 4-2-3-1 formation, with freshmen Koby Osei-Wusu, Curry and sophomore Garrett Heine in the attacking midfield behind him.
The Colonials started slow in the first half against a weaker Saint Bonaventure (1-11, 0-4) team and only forced Bonnies goalkeeper Jeremy Figler to make three saves. In the second half, the Colonials put Figler to the test. He responded impressively, and with the exception of the lone goal to Lawal, made six more saves in the half to equal nine saves on the nine.
“The first half, both teams stayed back defensively,” Jones said, “In the second half, we started pulling the trigger more, causing some chaos for the defenders.”
It was easy to see early in the game that Lawal would be GW’s best opportunity to score a goal. He took a game-high five shots on the night, four of which were on goal.
“All night it looked like [Lawal] was going to score,” Jones said. “Taking that confidence from his goal last week, he caused a lot of problems the first half, but we did better in the second half getting him some service.”
Although Lawal led GW in shots, five other Colonials recorded shots on goal, a stat Jones said he was happy with after the game. Overall, GW outshot Saint Bonaventure 10-5 in shots on goal.
“Scoring by committee has been the whole group mentality we’ve been working to develop the whole season,” Jones said. “The guys who come in have been taking the opportunities whether they’re in five or 10 minutes.”
Against an ailing Saint Bonaventure team that entered the match on a five-game losing streak and three-game scoreless streak, junior goalkeeper Jean-Pierre van der Merwe made five saves to earn his second shutout of the season and the sixth shutout of his career.
Despite Saint Bonaventure’s recent skid, Jones said the Bonnies performed better than than their record showed, adding that they “had their chances” during the game.
The Colonials will travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday to face Duquesne at 1 p.m.
Game note: Junior Oliver De Thier earned a red card in the 85th minute after collecting a yellow card in the 82nd minute.