Your Guide to GW sports

Senior defender Matthew Scott looks to pass the ball past a Saint Peter's player in a game earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

Senior defender Matthew Scott looks to pass the ball past a Saint Peter’s player in a game earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Mark Eisenhauer.

Men’s soccer’s offensive woes resumed Sunday in a 4-0 shutout loss to Robert Morris.

The loss marked the fourth time the team has been shut out this season and came days after a 3-2 overtime win. Starting forwards junior Philip McQuitty and sophomore Angel Valencia combined for just one shot on goal.

“In the first half, we played great. We had chances, we were getting into the right spots. But today we didn’t have the quality in the final third,” head coach Craig Jones said. “Either our final pass was off, or when we did create that chance, we didn’t take advantage of it.”

GW (4-5-0) looked like it had control of the game early, after a few good chances in the Robert Morris (5-5-1) half of the field, but the game’s most pivotal moment came in the 21st minute when GW was awarded a penalty kick.

A 1-0 GW lead seemed inevitable, but Valencia’s shot was stopped by the Robert Morris keeper and turned the tide of the match.

“It was a terrible penalty,” Jones said. “If we had gone 1-0 up it would have probably given us the confidence to score more goals because that’s how well we were playing.”

Robert Morris stepped up the pressure following its big save, and despite being outshot 7-2 in the first half, managed to hold GW scoreless going into the second.

In the 52nd minute, Robert Morris star forward Neco Brett was able to chip a ball over the defense past GW goalkeeper Jean-Pierre van der Merwe, who was off his line.

Then, in the 63rd minute, Brett caught the keeper cheating off his line again, and sent a shot from 50 yards out into the back of the net.

Brett, who entered the game as the nation’s fourth-leading scorer, completed the hat trick in the 73rd minute of play and added one more to his total with just three minutes to play. Following the day’s action, Brett had accrued an impressive 12 goals on the season.

Van der Merwe, whose 4.5 saves per game placed him fourth in the A-10, would only make four saves on the day, the same amount of goals he would allow.

“[Van der Merwe] got beat from about 50 yards on two goals,” Jones said. “I don’t want to jump the gun here and blame him for his positioning until I get to see the video, but as a goalkeeper you can’t let in four goals.”

Despite the lack of finishing, GW was able to tally a total of six shots on goal compared to eight for Robert Morris. The teams also matched each other in physicality, with GW committing 14 fouls to Robert Morris’ 13.

The Colonials enter conference play Saturday when they play Rhode Island on the road.

“It’s a terrible time to lose, and the way we fell apart in the second half obviously doesn’t bode well going into conference next week,” Jones said. “We kind of just have to shake that second half off and look to what’s happened in other games and even the first half today.”

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Then-junior Ridvan Pehlivan hurls the ball to a teammate in a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

Then-junior Ridvan Pehlivan hurls the ball to a teammate in a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rob Bartnichak.

After dropping three straight games, men’s water polo rebounded with wins over Caltech and Occidental on Saturday at the Gary Troyer Tournament.

GW fell to Cal Baptist, Claremont Mudd Scripps and Whittier, but bounced back with a 17-4 win over Caltech and 10-7 win over Occidental. The two wins brought the Colonials to 2-3 for their California road trip, and 8-8 overall on the season.

“As a whole, the trip wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for, but we discovered some of the problems we’ve been having in the past few weeks,” head coach Scott Reed said.

Senior Ridvan Pehlivan paced the Colonials with 10 goals this weekend, while junior Bogdan Petkovic finished second on the team with seven.

Reed said the transition game and power play were two of the major challenges facing the team, which has lost seven of its last nine games.

“We’re losing some games because we’re not converting on those power play opportunities,” Reed said. “Everyone needs to get touches and we need to work on getting everyone involved.”

The Colonials surrendered double digits in goals in three of five games this weekend, but Reed said they achieved their team goal in finding more consistency.

GW returns to the Smith Center next weekend to face Johns Hopkins in the first of four straight conference games.

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Women's volleyball celebrates against Rhode Island earlier this season.

Volleyball celebrates in a game against Rhode Island earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Alex Kist.

The volleyball team took care of George Mason on Friday, defeating the Patriots 3-1 to extend its win streak to three straight games.

Although the Colonials (12-4, 3-0 A-10) overwhelmed Mason (5-11, 1-2 A-10) in the first set, GW struggled to find consistent play on the floor.

Once the Colonials overcame their consistency issues and unforced errors, they bested the Patriots to advance to 3-0 in the Atlantic 10 for the first time since 2003.

“This win is always a big one,” head coach Amanda Ault said. “We always talk about the ‘D.C. challenge’ with teams like Georgetown, George Mason and American because we need to make sure we dominate the District each season. I think that each match in the A-10 will be big for us whether it’s at home or away and this game really prepared us for that.”

Sophomore middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu knocked down a career-high 19 kills while only committing four attack errors on 32 total attempts. Osuchukwu, along with junior outside hitter Maggie Skjelbred, paced the Colonials with .469 and .500 hitting percentages, respectively.

In the opening set, GW put Mason away early, swinging .370 while holding the Patriots to four kills over 26 attempts and cruised to a 25-13 set win.

In the second set, Mason capitalized on the Colonials’ errors. The Patriots contended with GW throughout the set, which saw three lead changes and 10 ties. Mason managed to throw the Colonials off balance and take the set 25-23.

“In the first set, we really got settled, we took care of things and we were pretty steady,” Ault said. “Then we flipped to the second set and then they came alive. When you go away for any match in the A-10, players feel comfortable at home and you’re going to feed off the crowd.”

GW retaliated with a strong defensive stance in the third set. Freshman defensive specialist Christina Porada maintained a presence throughout the game and racked up a season-high 18 digs. Junior Maddy Doyle also contributed defensively with 11 digs and two assists.

Despite the win, GW accumulated 10 service errors on the night and faltered in its serve-receive and blocking.

“We continued to have service errors as the game progressed and we talked about just being able to put the ball in tonight,” Ault said. “But when we did put it in, we were getting them out of system, we were making them become one dimensional, and then we weren’t playing defense on the opposite end of it.”

GW pushed through during the last two sets to pull away from Mason. After starting the third set from behind, the Colonials swung .300 and took the set, 25-16.

The energy carried on into the final frame, when GW fought to finish with a 25-22 set win. The Colonials forced four attack errors in a row, which put GW ahead 18-14. Powerful kills and impressive blocks helped hold GW until the end of the match.

“Now that we are rolling into October where we are in the midst of A-10, we really have to take care of being consistent with our play,” Ault said. “I think the different sets showed exactly that. When we are consistent, we take care of our job and we are doing things that we know we can do, then we are in control and we put ourselves in a good spot.

The Colonials head back to the Smith Center next Friday to host Saint Louis.

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Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 9:59 a.m.

Women’s soccer drops first A-10 match

Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against an Old Dominion player on Aug. 24. Hatchet File Photo

Junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti fights for possession against an Old Dominion player on Aug. 24. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Mark Eisenhauer.

Women’s soccer (7-3-0, 0-1-0) dropped their first Atlantic 10 conference match against La Salle (5-4-2, 1-0-0) Friday, losing 3-0 to the two-time defending conference champions in GW’s third loss of the season.

Despite the shutout loss, head coach Sarah Barnes said the Colonials were close to matching the Explorers play for much of the game.

“I don’t think the score was indicative of how the game went,” Barnes said. “It was in many ways an even game. [La Salle] is just very good at punishing errors.”

Two of those errors came early in each half: The Explorers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute of the game and made the score 2-0 in the fifth minute of the second half.

La Salle forward Kelsey Haycook scored both goals, the first by penetrating the GW defense and chipping the ball into the back of the net past redshirt freshman goalkeeper Miranda Horn, and the second by burying a cross from a teammate.

The Colonials threatened to come back by creating some offensive chances, but Barnes said the early goals left the team with an uphill battle in both halves. La Salle would outshoot the Colonials 15-9 in the game.

“It’s really difficult to give up goals so quickly, it takes a little bit of the wind out of your sails,” Barnes said. “But we did respond well to both of them. We had the ball a number of times in good spots, and we just didn’t do a good enough job capitalizing.”

Even with their aggressive response, the Colonials could not break through on the score sheet the entire game. La Salle scored a third time in the 69th minute off a header sent to the top right corner of the net to secure the team’s victory.

Top scorers like sophomore MacKenzie Cowley and junior Nicole Belfonti were both held to zero shots on goal for GW. Junior Brooke Bean had a team-high two shots for the Colonials.

Junior midfielder Kristi Abbate said despite the lopsided score line, GW made a good offensive effort.

“There was a lot of times where we had more possession than them. It’s just that we have to get better at taking those chances, taking risks and overall just getting up the field more so we can be more dangerous in their box,” Abbate said.

Although Abbate stressed finishing on offense, the backline was slow to react to the movement of teammates and left holes for La Salle to exploit.

The GW defense, led by Horn, had only allowed five goals in nine games coming into the match, but faltered under the Explorers’ offensive pressure. Horn would be replaced in the 85th minute after giving up three goals and making only six saves.

Barnes said improvement at reading and covering long ball service, pinching when backs come off the line and precision in the offensive third are “huge” areas of priority going forward. Still, Barnes was optimistic even with the loss.

“I’m not happy about us losing, but I think [La Salle] is a very good team, and I think if we can come out against other teams and possess like we did against them, we are going to be successful,” Barnes said.

GW continues conference play Saturday at Fordham before returning home for a three-game stretch.

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Junior Jonny Forrest drives past several Saint Peter's players last weekend. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Junior Jonny Forrest drives past several Saint Peter’s players last weekend. File Photo by Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Updated: Oct. 1, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ellee Watson.

After a 3-2 overtime win against Longwood (1-5-1), men’s soccer head coach Craig Jones can finally shave his beard.

Jones had refused to shave until the team snapped its three-game losing streak, but two come-from-behind goals and a game-winner from sophomore Angel Valencia gave him the green light.

“Today we finally had some quality in the attacking, the final third,” Jones said. “The big difference today was that we were finally able to convert some of those chances that we have been getting.”

Valencia scored off a rebounded shot from sophomore Sam Summerlin in the 96th minute of play after freshman Christian Lawal’s 86th minute goal forced overtime. Junior Oliver de Thier had already scored from behind off a free kick in the 60th minute.

Valencia’s game-winner came with just nine players on the pitch for Longwood after the Lancers drew two red cards.

“We were very confident the whole game. We were playing very well, so we knew it was just a matter of time before we got back in the game,” Valencia said. “We never felt like we were in trouble.”

After suffering two consecutive shutouts, the Colonials (4-4-0) needed to jumpstart their offense and used a rotation of players near the front end to keep the pressure on Longwood, who they would outshoot 10-5 in the game.

While juniors Jonny Forrest and Phillip McQuitty have started consistently as forwards, Jones switched up his midfield by starting junior Eddie Painter, sophomores Spiros Tsakos and Garret Heine and freshman Alex Conning in the game. De Their, Lawal, sophomore Jopus Grevelink and freshmen Oliver Curry and Koby Osei-Wusi also contributed minutes.

After a slow start, GW began to piece plays together and create scoring chances around the 35th minute. Forrest, Conning, Lawal and senior Matthew Scott all took chances with headers in addition to shots by sophomore Tobi Adewole and Curry.

“We’ve been getting into those spots we just haven’t been converting,” Jones said. “Finally, tonight, especially in the second half and obviously in overtime, we just converted those chances.”

The Colonials created the opportunity for De Thier with constant pressure on the Longwood defense. They continued the barrage with the score tied with shots from Heine, Forrest and Curry, which forced Longwood sophomore Carlos Canas to make two saves. Canas would finish the game with seven saves.

Goalie Jean Pierre van der Merwe came into the game after what Jones called the worst game of van der Merwe’s career. In that game, a 4-0 loss to Saint Peter’s, van der Merwe’s eagerness to come off the line left gaping holes that resulted in two goals and his replacement.

This time, Jones said there was not much van der Merwe could have done to prevent the two Longwood goals and that the goalie kept the team in the game when they were down 1-0. Van der Merwe finished with three saves.

Valencia said the players still felt confident on the field even when they were playing from behind. Jones tried to lighten the mood before the game, which was delayed due to a late start time in an earlier game on the same field, with some extra incentive for the team to win.

“I told the guys I’d take them out for a steak dinner,” Jones said. “Hopefully they don’t remember, but I’m sure they’ll remind me. Sometimes you need a little humor to lighten the mood so that everybody is not as nervous.”

Clean shaven and with their losing streak snapped, the Colonials return to play Sunday at Robert Morris in their final non-conference game.

Nora Princiotti contributed reporting.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the men’s soccer team’s losing streak was four games. The team’s losing streak was three games. We regret this error.

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Sophomore Chidima Osuchukwu elevates to hit a ball earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

Sophomore Chidima Osuchukwu elevates to hit a ball earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Alex Kist.

Sophomore middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu has earned the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Player of the Week award for the second week in a row.

Osuchukwu led the Colonials to two A-10 wins against Rhode Island and Fordham to start the conference season 2-0 for the first time since 2003. Osuchukwu accumulated 29 kills over GW’s two matches, hitting a striking .359. In the conference opener against Rhode Island on Friday, she knocked down 16 kills on .317 hitting and led the Colonials with 41 total attack attempts.

Osuchukwu followed Friday’s performance with 13 kills, hitting a blistering .435 to lead all players Saturday versus Fordham. Along with powerful swings on offense, Osuchukwu applied defensive pressure to shut down the Rams, tallying five blocks (one solo, four sets) to help the Colonials sweep all three sets.

With consistent drive on the floor, Osuchukwu has averaged 3.57 kills per set and totaled 75 blocks on the season. She tops the A-10 blocking category with 1.47 blocks per set and ranks third in the conference with a .354 attack percentage.

Osuchukwu has racked up A-10 awards this season as well as the GW Invitational’s Most Valuable Player award. She also earned A-10 Player of Week after her performance during the Crossroads of America at Valparaiso University on Sept. 20 and previously won a Defensive Player of the Week award earlier this season.

The team will face George Mason (5-10, 1-1 A-10) on Friday at 7 p.m. for their first away game of conference play.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rob Bartnichak. 

A 13-7 loss to No. 12 Princeton extended men’s water polo’s losing streak to four Sunday.

With the loss, the Colonials dropped to 6-5 overall and 0-4 in conference play. GW lost to Bucknell 11-10 on Saturday.

“We have to eliminate the mental errors that we’ve been having,” head coach Scott Reed said. “We need to clear our heads.”

The Tigers scored the first five goals of the game and held an 8-2 lead at halftime. GW went goal for goal with Princeton through the remainder of the game, but could not chip away at the scoring deficit.

Senior Adam Wrobel and freshman Pierce Deamer led the Colonials with two goals each against Princeton, while senior Ridvan Pehlivan led the team with five goals in the two games this weekend.

Junior goalkeeper Connor Dillon made 10 saves Sunday after sophomore Sander Profaci recorded a career-high 12 against Bucknell the day before.

The Colonials are now looking to avoid the same type of midseason slump they suffered from last year. GW started the 2013 season 10-2 before going 3-9 for the remainder of the season.

“We’re looking on implementing some new offensive schemes that we’re working on,” Reed said. “And of course we need to continue to keep tweaking our defense.”

While Reed focuses on tactical changes, senior Brian Mojica said he needs to continue working on his mental game.

“I get a little frustrated at times, so I need to work on my self-confidence,” Mojica said.

GW begins a five-game California road trip Thursday with a match at Cal Baptist. They will then play four games in the Gary Troyer Tournament in Claremont, Calif.

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Junior Maddie Doyle celebrates with her team after scoring in a win against Georgetown earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo.

Junior Maddy Doyle celebrates with her team after scoring in a win against Georgetown earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo.

Updated: Sept. 29, 2014 at 10:48 a.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Alex Kist.

The Colonials came out ahead Saturday against a winless Fordham team after they struggled to stay energized throughout the game while the Rams ratcheted up pressure on the floor in the final frames.

Each set was closer than the last, but GW volleyball (11-4, 2-0 A-10) ultimately defeated Fordham in straight sets (25-18, 25-18, 25-23). The game helped GW claim its first 2-0 start to the conference season since 2003.

The Colonials entered Saturday’s match coming off of a five-set Friday victory over Rhode Island and started the match against the Rams with fire. GW held Fordham (0-14, 0-2 A-10) to a .148 hitting percentage in the first set, while outblocking the Rams 4-0. Sophomore middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu led the team with a .667 hitting percentage.

GW closed the first set by hitting a dominant .522 on the pin and committing just one attack error. After a block by senior outside hitter Kelsey Newman pushed the Colonials to a 10-point advantage (24-14), a kill from junior outside hitter Maggie Skjelbred secured the 25-15 set win.

But GW was not as seamless in the second set as at the start of the match. Although still posting a high .370 hitting percentage, the Colonials found themselves working harder to tally every point as they faced a second-set push by the Rams.

“I think our mindset was not as aggressive as the game continued,” junior libero Maddy Doyle said. “We had a good hitting percentage for the first game, but we really needed to work to get to that point in the second set and not expect it to come naturally.”

The Colonials compensated by pressuring Fordham and forced 10 attack errors.

During the third set, GW lost most of its fluidity on the floor. Even though the Colonials did not allow the Rams to surpass them at any point in the set, GW tied three times in the third set against an opponent that has not won a single game this season.

GW was not able to hold onto a six-point advantage earned in the set as Fordham quickly answered with back-to-back points off a kill and ensuing GW error.

“I think [Fordham’s] outside hitters did a great job and was something that we needed to adapt to throughout the game,” head coach Amanda Ault said. “We needed to be more aware of where they wanted to hit and be constantly thinking about the best way to stop them.”

Ault praised Doyle for stepping up in the third set and said the libero’s play helped her teammates stay calm and not become flustered by Fordham’s momentum.

GW will travel to George Mason on Friday for the team’s first road match of conference play. Ault said her focus this week will be minimizing errors.

“Whether it’s on the service line, putting that ball in play and pressuring them to make errors,” Ault said. “We need to see the block and make sure we stay behind the ball, so we can see the open shot and execute it.”

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that GW outhit Fordham 4-0. The Colonials outblocked the Rams 4-0. We regret this error.

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Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

Sophomore MacKenzie Cowley fights for possesion against a George Mason player. Cowley scored what would become the game-winning goal for GW in the 59th minute of play. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Scott Nover.

A 2-1 victory gave GW (7-2-0) its first win in program history over George Mason (2-7-0) Saturday.

The Colonials had never topped the Patriots in 22 matchups between the two squads, but goals from junior midfielder Nicole Belfonti and sophomore forward MacKenzie Cowley gave GW the edge in the Revolutionary Rivalry game and its seventh win of the season, equalling the team’s win total from 2013 in the last game of the non-conference season.

The Colonials outmuscled their opponents and strung together several runs, though misplaced passes thwarted several of their drives before the attack could take the ball to the net. George Mason outshot GW 7-5 in the first half, and ended the game by the same margin, 13-11.

Still, in the 16th minute, Belfonti was able to take advantage of a ball in a tough spot when she directed a strike from thirty yards out on the right, off the underside of the crossbar and into the net in the top left corner of the net for her third goal of the year.

“Belfonti has that ability to really strike the ball from anywhere,” head coach Sarah Barnes said.

Both teams locked down on defense for the rest of the half, preventing any more goals and generating some shots through the counterattack. GW recorded five shots with three on target in the opening frame while redshirt freshman goalkeeper Miranda Horn produced four saves to keep the Patriots goalless.

The Colonials midfield soaked up most of the Patriots’ offense in the beginning of the second half, showing the team defense that Barnes has stressed throughout the season. George Mason threatened at times but was consistently blocked by players all over the field.

GW doubled its advantage in the 59th minute when senior defender Madison Davis sent a corner kick to senior midfielder Elizabeth Casey, whose shot Cowley deflected into the net for her team-leading fifth goal of the season.

“All I remember was I was running near the post, the ball went to Davis, and when I turned the ball was coming right at me, so I just hit it in,” Cowley said.

Cowley said she has adopted a trial-and-error mentality for scoring, which has contributed to her success. The sudden need to act on Casey’s ball put her way of thinking into action Saturday, making Cowley ready to score on any ball.

“I’ve just been trying to make a lot of different runs this year. I’ve been trying to check to the ball and also getting behind,” said Cowley. “So I feel like varying it up this year has been helping me a lot.”

But after securing the 2-0 lead, the Colonials started to look shaky. Plays were jumbled and balls were lost in crucial spots as the George Mason midfield opened up to create more chances on goal.

“I think it’s really common for a team to become conservative, and that’s when you make mistakes,” Barnes said. “I think we were sitting too far back on the ball and playing it safe and gave them too much time and space on the ball.”

In the 69th minute, the Patriots’ sophomore midfielder Brenna Connell crossed in a clean assist to her teammate, freshman forward Erin Mitchell, who scored to cut the GW lead in half, denying Horn the clean sheet. Horn finished with five saves.

Barnes said the team was not marking in the box, letting George Mason get easy chances that led to the goal.

Both teams looked erratic at the end of the game, and as fatigue crept in for the Colonials, the Patriots’ attack spent more time testing GW. Ultimately, George Mason never capitalized, and the Colonials escaped the nail-biter.

Despite the shaky finish, GW got the win to round out a strong non-conference season. While George Mason is an Atlantic 10 competitor, the game did not count as part of conference play.

GW next takes the field in the A-10 opener Friday in Philadelphia against LaSalle, who GW defeated in the regular season last year before losing to the Explorers in the A-10 tournament.

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Freshman Alex Conning heads the ball. The Colonails fell to Saint Peter's 4-0. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Freshman Alex Conning heads the ball in a game Saturday against Saint Peter’s. The Colonails fell to the Peacocks 4-0. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Mark Eisenhauer.

Saint Peter’s crushed GW men’s soccer Saturday in a nightmarish 4-0 loss for the Colonials, their second consecutive shutout and third-straight loss.

The Colonials (3-4) struggled to find a rhythm offensively, while Saint Peter’s (2-6) capitalized on poor decisions by junior goalkeeper Jean-Pierre van der Merwe to cruise to a four-goal victory.

“[van der Merwe] had his worst game of the season, and he’d be the first to admit it,” head coach Craig Jones said. “But you also have to look at how the ball got there originally. We probably made four mistakes before that.”

GW dominated the first 20 minutes of the game, keeping the ball on Saint Peter’s half of the field for long stretches.

The Colonials’ momentum was snapped in the 25th minute, after a Saint Peter’s forward got free with the ball. As he neared the box, van der Merwe came off his line for a tackle, but missed most of the ball and collided instead with the forward, resulting in a penalty kick. The Peacocks easily put away the free kick to take the 1-0 lead.

Senior defender Matthew Scott looks to pass the ball past a Saint Peter's player. The Colonials fell 4-0 on Saturday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Senior defender Matthew Scott looks to pass the ball past a Saint Peter’s player. The Colonials fell 4-0 on Saturday. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Only eight minutes later, a similar play unfolded. But when van der Merwe came off the line this time, the tackle deflected behind the keeper to a Saint Peter’s player who extended the Peacocks lead to 2-0.

Despite taking a total of 13 shots in the game, the early goals seemed to sap the life from the GW offense led by starting junior forwards Philip McQuitty and Jonny Forrest.

“We were getting into good spots but we could never score from them,” Jones said. “Then we give away a penalty, and I don’t know what really happened. We just fell apart to be honest.”

In the 40th minute, a hard cross into the Colonial’s zone hit the errant hand of freshman defender Ismail Lapp-Kamara. The resulting penalty kick ended with Saint Peter’s third unanswered goal.

The Peacock’s sealed Saturday’s victory on an early second-half goal off of a free kick from the left wing that curled into the top right corner of the net. In the 50th minute, junior Jack Lopez replaced Van der Merwe, who made only two saves on the day.

With a hard offensive push to avoid a shutout, GW won a penalty kick in the closing minutes of the game. Junior Oliver De Thier’s penalty was saved by Saint Peter’s keeper David Giddings, who would end the day with six saves.

Last season, the Colonials often played down to the level of opponents with weaker records. The Peacocks came into this weekend’s game with a 1-6 record, but senior co-captain Matthew Scott said he was reminded Saturday that Saint Peter’s defeated GW last season 2-1 on the road.

“They were a good team that beat us last year as well,” Scott said. “I don’t think it had anything to do with the opposition. We caused our own problems today, and I think everyone on the team is aware of that.”

The Colonials look to end their three-game skid Tuesday when they take on Longwood in Farmville, Va.

Jones said much of the team’s success moving forward will start with his goalkeeper.

“I hope mentally [van der Merwe] can turn it around for Tuesday,” Jones said. “For us now, it’s mentally can we get out of this, get our heads back up and hopefully get a win.”

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