Your Guide to GW sports

Kevin Marfo, a three-star recruit out of Worcester Academy (Mass.), has verbally committed to the men’s basketball team.

“I am grateful and appreciative to all the schools that recruited me. But I will be spending the next four years at George Washington University,” Marfo said in a tweet Friday.

The 6-foot-8-inch forward will join the Colonials’ frontcourt in 2016, selecting GW over Providence, Boston College, DePaul and Atlantic 10 foe Rhode Island, according to NBC Sports.

Marfo averaged 11.3 points and 8.8 rebounds playing for BABC this summer in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball league. He is listed as the No. 148 player in his class overall by Rivals.

The fierce rebounder, who weighs in at 235 pounds, is the second recruit Lonergan and the Colonials landed this week.

Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 inch point guard verbally committed to GW Tuesday. He is the son of 1999 A-10 player of the year and former GW guard Shawnta Rogers.

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Freshman Sofia Pavon (No. 11) celebrates her game-winning penalty kick which gave the Colonials the win 2-1 against La Salle Thursday. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Freshman Sofia Pavon (No. 11) celebrates her game-winning penalty kick which gave the Colonials the win 2-1 against La Salle Thursday. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Going into their game Thursday afternoon, women’s soccer’s last memories of playing La Salle were bad ones. They were of a double overtime loss in the Atlantic 10 Championship semifinals that knocked the Colonials out of the 2014 postseason, and a 3-0 shutout defeat before that.

They wanted revenge, and finally got it after 98 minutes of play when freshman Sofia Pavon netted a penalty kick that gave the Colonials a 2-1 overtime victory and a 3-0 record in A-10 play for the first time since 2010.

“We’re all really happy about it for sure,” Pavon said. “We wanted to get this win. Especially what happened last year, seniors would tell us this is a game we had to win. So when they said I had to go and take that [penalty kick], I was like, alright, I can’t miss because they’ll kill me.”
La Salle struck first in the 50th minute when forward Deja Davis snuck a ball, out of a post-corner kick scrum in front of the net, over the goal-line.

GW equalized just eight minutes later when junior Lina Proska drove a ball from 20 yards out to the bottom right corner of the net off an assist from redshirt senior Nicole Belfonti, giving the Colonials enough offense to take the game to overtime where senior Kristi Abbate drew a foul taking the ball into the box to set up Pavon.

The Colonials have now won six straight games, the last two coming in extra time, which head coach Sarah Barnes attributed to their mental conditioning as much as their physical stamina.

“These guys doing a really good job of being sort of disciplined to try to execute the things that we’re asking them,” Barnes said. “We’ve been working on things for a full year and really trying to grind it in, sort of like use a sharpie and put it in indelible marker on their brains.”

Aside from the breakdown that allowed La Salle’s one goal, GW’s defense was dominant. The Colonials outshot the Explorers 8-4 on the night and redshirt sophomore goalie Miranda Horn had two saves.

The Colonials look for their fourth-straight win Sunday when they host Massachusetts at 1 p.m.

Dan Rich contributed reporting.

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It took 102 scoreless minutes of play, but senior midfielder Eddie Painter finally lifted men’s soccer to victory with a golden goal in double-overtime at Saint Joseph’s Wednesday night.

The 1-0 decision marks GW’s second shutout of the season and extends its longest win-streak this year to three games.

“It’s an ecstatic feeling,” Painter said describing his game-winner. “It’s just a matter of keeping it calm and doing what you’ve done a bunch of times before, and doing it in that moment that really counts.”

GW’s defense, which has given up just two goals in its last three contests, held the Hawks to six total shots and allowed only one of those on net.

The clean sheet for senior goalkeeper Jack Lopez, who got his third straight start in net for GW on Wednesday, was the first of his career.

“Jack has been waiting in the wings since he was a freshman. He maybe didn’t take the chance earlier in the season, didn’t perform to how we would have liked to keep the number one job, but he’s taking his chance now,” head coach Craig Jones said. “Tonight he played very well, he has in both A-10 games so far, so as of now he’s [the] number one choice to start.”

After a sluggish start to the 2015 campaign offensively, the Colonials (5-5-0, 2-0 A-10) have had the magic touch as of late.

GW registered seven goals through its first eight games this season, but entering last night’s match, had combined for six in its previous two contests. The Colonials carried that momentum to Philadelphia Wednesday, registering seven shots on goal against a frustrating Hawks defense.

“[The Hawks] were defending so tightly and when they got the ball they were just kind of kicking it up, so it was one of those situations where you have to just wear them down,” Painter said.

And that’s what GW did. Each squad was assessed two yellow cards and the Colonials registered 22 fouls in the physical battle, but through 90-plus minutes, neither side could find the go-ahead.

The first overtime frame brought another scoreless 10 minutes, but GW remained eager to secure its second conference win.

In the 102nd minute, sophomore forward Christian Lawal, who was one of six Colonials to record a shot on goal in the game, found Painter up top. The veteran’s third goal on the season ties him with Lawal as GW’s second-leading scorer. Painter had scored just one goal in his career entering this season.

“I’m very happy with the performance and really happy for the players,” Jones said. “Two road games, two wins. It’s a perfect start but as a group we just move on to the next one and we know there’s still a long way to go.”

GW looks to preserve its untarnished A-10 record Saturday at home when they take on George Mason at 1 p.m.

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Darnell Rogers, son of George Washington Hall of Fame guard and 1999 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Shawnta Rogers, has committed to play for the Colonials, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported Tuesday.

The 5-foot-3 high school senior at Shiloh High School in Georgia visited GW over the weekend and said that head coach Mike Lonergan has been recruiting him for the last four years. His family has maintained close ties with the program.

“My dad is an alum, and I have a family relationship with the coaching staff,” Darnell Rogers told ESPN. “Their starting point guard is leaving when I come in. It’s a great situation for me and I also love D.C.”

The elder Rogers, who stood at 5-foot-4 during his senior season, holds GW program records in assists (634) and steals (310) and is sixth on the all-time points leaderboard in points at 1,701. He earned All-Conference awards in each of his four seasons at GW. GW made the postseason all four of those years from 1995-1999, including three NCAA Tournament appearances. He went on to play professionally in Europe for more than a decade after college.

Darnell Rogers has scored nearly 1,000 points and averaged 27.4 points, five assists and 4.2 steals per game over the past two seasons at Indian Land High School in South Carolina before transferring to Shiloh for his senior season.

He played AAU basketball for team CP3 over the summer with the top-ranked player in the country, Harry Giles.

Rogers joins forward Collin Smith in GW’s class of 2016.

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This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Josh Solomon.

Last week, senior Ryan Tucker achieved something last accomplished by a GW men’s cross country runner in 2003.

This week, while setting a new school record, he pushed the record books back a decade further. Tucker was named Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week for the second week in a row, the second time in program history that a GW runner has done so. The first since Eric Woronick in 1993, when Tucker and most graduating seniors had not yet been born, gas hovered around a $1.10 a gallon and Janet Jackson released her fifth studio album. She released her 11th album today, just for reference.

The rebuilding cross country program not only saw the success on the men’s side but also the women’s – junior Macaulay Porter was named Atlantic 10 Co-Performer of the Week.

The honors for the men’s and women’s teams come after one of the biggest meets of the season, the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. The men finished 19th out of 27 and the women finished 13th of 35 teams, but the two individuals posted noteworthy finishes.

Tucker finished the men’s 8K 15th out of 278 runners in 24:26, setting a new school record and an individual best by any runner in the Atlantic 10 this season. Naturally, it was a new personal best for the senior, who came in 15 seconds slower last year in the conference championship.

For the women, Porter becomes the second Colonial to take home the honors this year, joining sophomore Miranda DiBiasio.

Porter finished a team-high 88th out of 312 runners in the women’s meet, with a 6K time of 21:57 – the fastest for any A-10 runner this year. The time was also a personal record for Porter, whose previous best was 44 seconds slower, set during her freshman year at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional.

GW now has an off-week from racing before the Princeton Invitational on Oct. 17, the final meet before the A-10 Championship in Richmond at the end of the month.

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Fresh off his first career multi-goal performance last Saturday, sophomore forward Christian Lawal earned Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors, the league announced Monday.

Lawal provided GW with both an equalizer and a game-winner during the second half of his team’s 2–1, come-from-behind victory over Davidson. GW’s second consecutive win to open A-10 play snapped Davidson’s school-record 16-game home unbeaten streak.

The Pembury, England native has registered three goals on the year, second-most on the team, already matching the offensive output of his rookie season.

The award is the first of Lawal’s career, and the second time a Colonial received the honor this year. Junior forward Garrett Heine, who leads GW with five goals and three assists, earned the accolade on Aug. 31 after netting five points on opening weekend.

Monday’s announcement also marked the first time two Colonials have been honored during the same season since 2011.

GW (4-5-0, 1-0 A-10) looks for its third straight win at Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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The Colonials celebrate in a win earlier this season. Volleyball won two road games over the weekend to start the A-10 season 3-0. Camille Ramasastry | Hatchet Photographer

The Colonials celebrate in a win earlier this season. Volleyball won two road games over the weekend to start the A-10 season 3-0. Camille Ramasastry | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Alex Kist.

It didn’t matter if it was a back-and-forth battle or a smooth sweep: Volleyball showed off its strengths this weekend against VCU and Davidson to start the conference season 3-0.

The Colonials (13-5, 3-0 A-10) have strung together four straight wins. In two weekend road games, the team stayed in the drivers seat.

On Friday, GW presented a strong offensive threat against the Rams and were able to convert 17-22 sideout point opportunities to take the first set. However, VCU came out strong in the next two games, striking back with middles hitting slides and powerful kills from the pins. In the third set, the Rams rose above a deficit and only succumbed to four attack errors, propelling them to a 25-22 win.

“We were letting [VCU] dictate what it was going to do,” said head coach Amanda Ault. “After we dropped 2-1, we started to flow and slow them down which helped us. We also made some adjustments with the lineup and it helped; it was figuring out what would be the right mix out there to get that done.”

With VCU holding a 2-1 set advantage, the Colonials worked to get their passing in sync and get rhythm back on the court. Senior Jordan Timmer started to put her teammates in good positions, which led to her seventh double-double of the season, tallying 44 assists.

But it was the defensive persistence that really helped shut down VCU’s hot right side in the final sets to solidify the win for the Colonials. In the fourth set alone, GW only allowed nine kills while posting three blocks and 15 digs. Senior libero Maddy Doyle contributed with 13 digs and added a service ace on the night and GW came back in the fifth set to win the match. Set scores were 25-21, 21-25, 22-25, 25-17, 15-12.

There was no such drama against Davidson on Sunday. The Colonials shot out to a 4-0 start in the first set. Even when the Wildcats started to close the gap and put the set within a point, GW capitalized on two back-to-back attack errors to hold the lead at 17-13. The Colonials sailed smoothly through the rest of the set onto a 25-18 win. Set point came from a decisive kill from senior setter Jordan Timmer, who produced a game-high 35 assists.

“Everyone on the pin did a really good job of stepping up,” Ault said. “Jordan hit really good situations and so you could feel the intensity and the overall energy throughout today.”

The second set was a similar story as GW stole a 4-3 lead after a kill from freshman outside hitter Hanna Justesen and a block from junior middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu forced an attack error. After running neck-and-neck with the Wildcats for most of the set, GW went on a 4-0 run with back-to-back kills from the outside hitters to give the Colonials a 16-13 advantage and just a little bit of distance. They held on for a 25-19 set win.

In the third set, the Colonials’ outside hitters were in charge. Even though they started from behind, GW caught up quickly and tied the match at 8-8 after a service ace by Aaliya Davidson, who caught fire against her namesake team.

The teams continued to go point for point until she swung right over the fingertips of several Wildcats and tied the game up again at 15-15. After a quick retaliation by the Wildcats, a kill from freshman outside hitter Kelsey Clark sparked a 4-0 run for GW to go up 20-16. Clark finished the game with 11 kills and one assist, and the Colonials came away with a 25-21 set victory.

So far this season, Ault has liked the production of the outside hitters. With Timmer putting the pins in a “good window” with lots of options, they are able to showcase their power. By extending on the follow through and getting their hands up high, the hitters are able to make big swings that go right over the opponents’ heads.

For the outsides, Davidson led all players with 13 kills on a .370 attack percentage on Sunday, also adding 10 assists for her first career double-double. Clark amassed 23 kills in the two games combined.

After trying out 12 different lineups in the VCU game, Ault said she hopes that having flexibility in lineups will benefit the team. She said that if someone isn’t having her best game, someone would be able to come off the bench and fill the void successfully.

“You can’t rely on one or two players.” Ault said. “I think it’s good that people know they have to compete day in and day out, which makes our practice that much more intense in getting us ready for the weekend.”

The Colonials return home this weekend to host Saint Louis on Friday at 7 p.m.

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Junior forward MacKenzie Cowley makes a play for the ball against Drexel on Sept. 4. Cowley scored her team-high seventh goal in GW's 2-0 win over Saint Joseph's Thursday. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Junior forward MacKenzie Cowley makes a play for the ball against Drexel on Sept. 4. Cowley scored her team-high seventh goal in GW’s 2-0 win over Saint Joseph’s Thursday. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

More than 380 minutes and counting.

That’s how long women’s soccer, which blanked Saint Joseph’s 2-0 in its Atlantic 10 opener Thursday afternoon, has gone without conceding a goal.

The Colonials (6-4-0, 1-0 A-10) also extended their win streak to four games in the shutout victory over the Hawks (6-4-0, 0-1 A-10), behind a game-winner from junior forward Mackenzie Cowley.

“The first goal in any game is super important but especially against a team like [Saint Joseph’s] that can score goals,” head coach Sarah Barnes said. “That was critical for us, because they have some really dangerous people.”

Saint Joseph’s entered the match with 20 goals, second-most in the A-10, but was met with resistance from an air-tight GW defense.

And while the Hawks struggled to create quality scoring chances, the Colonials were able to find the back of the net early in the first half.

Cowley netted her team-high seventh goal on the season in the game’s 13th minute, after receiving a pass from junior midfielder Lina Proska. Freshman midfielder Sofia Pavon, who scored two goals in GW’s previous match, also recorded an assist on the play.

“The ball got crossed in and Lina just hit it back to me and I was just wide-open in the middle,” Cowley said. “Scoring that early I think helped us out because it gave us momentum, and we fed off of it.”

The Hawks responded with a strong attack for the remainder of the first half, but the Colonials’ defense held strong and preserved GW’s 1-0 lead into halftime.

Keeping Saint Joseph’s off the board when chances did end up getting through, however, was redshirt sophomore starting goalkeeper Miranda Horn. In 90 minutes of play, Horn made a season-high eight saves against the high-powered offense, while Saint Joseph’s senior goalkeeper Allison Ebling recorded one.

“Miranda was excellent today. I thought she did a great job and made some very good saves that we needed her to make. I think that’s what makes a very good goalkeeper,” Barnes said.

The second half saw continued pressure from the Hawks as they searched for an equalizer. Only in the game’s waning minutes did GW get the insurance goal it needed to pad its lead and secure a win.

A strike by senior midfielder Kristi Abbate, who recorded an assist on the goal, careened off the left post and into the middle of the box in the 86th minute. Junior defender Kate Elson was there to put the ball away and register her team’s ninth goal in its last four games.

“We knew they were going to be a really good team, but we’ve played a lot of really good teams before so I think we were ready for it,” Cowley said. “We weren’t nervous or anything, but we knew we had to come out strong. It’s amazing to start the season off like that, with a win.”

GW looks for its fifth consecutive win Sunday, when the team travels to St. Bonaventure, N.Y. for a 1 p.m. match-up with the Bonnies.

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This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Josh Solomon.

Put your keys into the ignition, men’s cross country is driving in the fast lane, with their one, two step.

There was more than one decade-old first this weekend for the men’s cross country team. Not only did the Colonials compete in their first home meet since 2005, they also saw one of their runners take home All-Conference honors for the first time since 2003.

Senior Ryan Tucker was named the Atlantic 10 Cross Country Performer of the Week, the first time a GW runner has been given the weekly top honor since 2003, when then-senior Dave Azari earned the award. Freshman Andrew Weber also picked up Rookie of the Week honors.

At the DCXC/GW Invitational at Kenilworth Park (yes, right thurr), GW competed in a 5K against other D.C. schools, American, Howard and Catholic.

Tucker finished in fourth place, behind three runners for American, but set a personal collegiate record with a time of 15:56, nine seconds faster than his previous mark set last year in the season opener at Mount St. Mary’s Duals.

Meanwhile, Weber finished first among GW freshmen and ninth over. He becomes the first to win the rookie nod since Ryan DePinto did last September. Weber’s 16:15 was a 27-second drop from his previous time this season.

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Monday, Sept. 28, 2015 11:30 p.m.

Volleyball duo earns conference awards

This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Alex Kist.

After standout performances in last week’s contests, volleyball senior libero Maddy Doyle and freshman outside hitter Hanna Justesen earned conference honors, the Atlantic 10 conference announced Monday.

Doyle was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Week after averaging 4.50 digs per set in the Colonials’ two victories against Loyola (Md.) and George Mason. Justesen was honored as the Rookie of the Week after wreaking offensive havoc on the floor in both matches.

The veteran defensive specialist Doyle was critical in the 3-1 win over Loyola on Tuesday, amassing 15 digs and two service aces. She also stole the show on Friday in the Revolutionary Rivalry game by moving into second place on the Colonials’ all-time career digs list with 1,436.

Justesen accumulated 23 kills over the two games, hitting double figures both games and posting 11 kills and 11 digs against George Mason for her first double-double of the season. She also helped the Colonials get the Patriots out of system by adding two service aces.

The Colonials will be on the road for this weekend’s contests, beginning Friday at 7 p.m. against VCU.

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