Your Guide to GW sports

Junior guard Brianna Cummings drives around a defender in a 78-70 win over Villanova last December. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Junior guard Brianna Cummings drives around a defender in a 78–70 win over Villanova last December. Villanova is one of at least five power conference teams on GW’s challenging 2016-2017 schedule. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

The two-time reigning Atlantic 10 champion women’s basketball team unveiled its non-conference schedule last week, with hopes of making its third straight NCAA tournament appearance this spring.

In head coach Jennifer Rizzotti’s inaugural campaign, the Colonials will face at least eight postseason teams from 2016, including Syracuse — last year’s runner-up to NCAA national champion UConn (38–0).

“We will take on a challenging non-conference schedule this season which features a number of high-quality opponents that made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament and WNIT last season,” Rizzotti, who also helped lead USA women’s basketball to a gold medal this summer in Rio, said in a release. “In order to get to where we strive to be, it is important for us to be challenged every time we step onto the floor.”

GW, which went 267 overall last season, will try to get battle-tested before entering league play by squaring off against at least five power conference teams.

One of the more anticipated clashes at the Smith Center will be a rematch with 2016 NCAA Elite 8 contender Stanford in late December. In the second game of a home-and-home series, the Colonials will seek revenge against the Pac-12 squad one year after the then-No. 15 Cardinal trounced them 8463 on the West Coast.

The Colonials will also play host to a talented Princeton side that made the 2016 NCAA tournament with a 23–6 record. The Nov. 13 meeting will be the first between the two programs since the 2008-2009 season.

GW’s slate also features a pair of local contests at 2016 WNIT participant Georgetown and American.

On the road, women’s basketball faces tough tests against Villanova, whom they defeated 78–70 in the first game of a home-and-home series last year, and perhaps its biggest challenge at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida during Thanksgiving break.

In addition to facing top-tier opponents like the Orange and Ohio State/Florida Gulf Coast, Rizzotti thinks the tournament’s format will help the team gear up for postseason A-10 play.

“The Gulf Coast Showcase is going to be an amazing opportunity for this team,” Rizzotti said in a release. “First off, to be able to take on national runner-up Syracuse in the first game will give our players a great benchmark on where we want to be. The Showcase is the same format as the Atlantic 10 Championship with three games in three days, so that is important for this team to get a feel for that accelerated schedule against quality opposition.”

While dates and times have yet to be announced for conference matchups, A-10 pairings were released in July.

St. Bonaventure and Duquesne represented the A-10 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year, and will both visit the Smith Center this spring. The Colonials will also visit the Dukes  one of three teams GW will face twice in 2016 (Dayton, George Mason, Duquesne).

2016-17 schedule:

Saturday, November 5 vs. UMBC (Exh.) | 1 p.m.

Friday, November 11 at Georgetown | TBA

Sunday, November 13  vs. Princeton | TBA

Wednesday, November 16 vs. Coppin State | 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 20  at Villanova | TBA

Friday, November 25 vs. Syracuse (Gulf Coast Showcase) | 5 p.m.

Saturday, November 26 vs. Ohio State or Florida Gulf Coast (Gulf Coast Showcase) | TBA

Sunday, November 27  TBA (Gulf Coast Showcase) | TBA

Sunday, December 4  vs. Illinois | TBA

Wednesday, December 7 at American | TBA

Saturday, December 10 at South Dakota State | TBA

Wednesday, December 21 vs. Stanford | 7 p.m.

Friday, December 23 vs. Loyola (Md.) | 12 p.m.

Atlantic 10 Schedule (Dates/Times TBA)

Home: Davidson, Fordham, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, VCU, Dayton, Duquesne, George Mason

Away: La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, Saint Louis, Dayton, Duquesne, George Mason

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Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016 3:56 p.m.

Preview: Women’s soccer vs. No. 18 Georgetown

Then-senior forward Kyla Ridley fights for the ball in the Colonials' 4–1 loss to Georgetown last September. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Then-senior forward Kyla Ridley fights for the ball in the Colonials’ 4–1 loss to Georgetown last September. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Marty Fenn.

What: Women’s Soccer vs. No. 18 Georgetown

Where: Mount Vernon Campus

When: Thursday, September 15 at 3 p.m. 

After suffering their first loss of the year at Liberty last weekend, the Colonials (6–1–0) will look to bounce back against their cross-town rivals, the No. 18 Georgetown Hoyas (6–1–0).

Last year, Georgetown was responsible for one of GW’s five total losses — defeating the visiting Colonials 4–1 last September en route to a 2015 NCAA Tournament bid.

Case for the Colonials:

Head coach Sarah Barnes has repeatedly stressed the paramount role that defense plays in her squad’s success. Thus far this season, the team has rallied around the back four.

Led by redshirt senior Brooke Bean and senior Kate Elson, the Colonials have allowed just four goals in seven games, (0.57 goals per game) despite being outshot by opponents 7167.

Aside from the veteran experience, GW has been boosted by the maturing play of sophomores Megan McCormick and Dani Frese, who have shown great command and composure.

Likewise, redshirt junior goalkeeper Miranda Horn has been in good form and is especially confident coming off her line to challenge attackers. However, while the team has played well as a unit, they got away from that mentality last Sunday against Liberty.

“Defensively, we played more individually and that caused us to chase, which means we didn’t have the ball very much,” Barnes said. “When we did win it, we weren’t consistently composed enough to get the look we wanted and we were too slow in transition.”

The Colonials will certainly be hoping for MacKenzie Cowley to find the net again. After scoring in each of the Colonials’ first six games, Cowley was held scoreless against Liberty.

Junior forward Brittany Cooper could also add an additional boost on offense. Cooper has proved to be a strong and threatening figure on the ball this year, tallying two goals and one assist on the year.

All told, the Colonials are hoping that the Liberty game was a small blemish on what has otherwise been an impressive start to the campaign.

“Georgetown is a very strong team, and we’ll need to be organized,” Barnes said. “We are going to have to read pressure and then transition faster in order to generate possession and generate attack.”

Case for the Hoyas

Following a 3–0 loss at home against now-No. 1 Stanford, the Hoyas have rattled off five consecutive wins, including their most recent victory over a No. 2 ranked Virginia squad. In that time frame, the Hoyas have outscored opponents 174.

What Georgetown lacks defensively, they make up for in offensive firepower. Although the Hoyas have conceded 1.14 goals per game, they have scored an average of 3.29 and have outshot opponents a staggering 10553.

The Colonials will have to contend with the fearsome duo of junior Rachel Corboz and senior Grace Damaska, who have already tallied seven goals apiece for the Hoyas. Corboz has been named Big East Player of the Week three times, and she is fourth in the country (and first in the Big East) with 20 points.

The win against Virginia was particularly inspiring for Georgetown. Already trailing 20 just 10 minutes into the game, the Hoyas exploded for three goals in a span of 24 minutes, playing the Cavaliers to a stalemate for the rest of the game to pick up a huge win.

The Bottom Line

The Hoyas come to the Mount Vernon Campus full of confidence and possessing deadly weapons. However, the Colonials proved in their upset of Arkansas that they don’t need much possession of the ball to still win the game.

Georgetown will control the tempo and get its scoring chances, but if Barnes’ defense is organized and Horn is on her game, the Colonials might only need one opportunity at the net to make the difference. 

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Juniors Christian Lawal (left) and Koby Osei-Wusu (right) look to make a play during GW's 1-0 win over Navy Sunday afternoon. Andrew Goodman | Senior Staff Photographer

Juniors Christian Lawal (left) and Koby Osei-Wusu (right) look to make a play during GW’s 1-0 win over Navy Sunday afternoon. Andrew Goodman | Senior Staff Photographer

Through 89 minutes of play against Navy on Sunday afternoon, men’s soccer’s dominant offensive effort had gone unrewarded.

Despite outshooting the Midshipmen 16–0 and spending the majority of the match in its opponent’s defensive third, GW found itself knotted in a scoreless tie.

But with just more than 10 seconds remaining, the Colonials were awarded their 12th corner kick of the day. Sophomore midfielder Alastair Berry wasted no time delivering the ball into a frantic scrum in front of the net.

The hurried set piece found the head of Dylan Lightbourn on the near post, who snuck the game winner past Navy’s goalkeeper to lift GW to a 1–0 victory with only four seconds to spare.

“Coach is always telling me to get near post, and I just saw that ball coming in from Alastair, it was a great cross and I knew I was going to get my head on it,” the sophomore forward said. “The whole day we were getting great service into the box — we just couldn’t finish — but luckily I just found the right spot at the right time.”

The bounceback win comes four days after the Colonials (2–1–2) dropped a 2–0 decision at Loyola (Md.), the team’s first and only loss so far this season.

Head coach Craig Jones was pleased with his squad’s response during Sunday’s matinee.

“Today I thought was our best performance overall over 90 minutes possession-wise. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck — well not so much luck, it was a great header actually,” Jones said. “We’re creating [scoring chances], we just haven’t been scoring, and today we got one.”

And while GW’s offense has not been overtly high-powered — having combined for just three goals over its first four games — its defensive unit has continually kept them in games.

Starting goalkeeper Thor Arne Hofs had a quiet outing as Navy (1–2–1) recorded zero shots on net but was still tabbed for his second shutout of the 2016 campaign.

“Defensively, we shut them down,” Lightbourn said. “Their counterattack, that’s their forte honestly, and we did a really great job of just not allowing them to turn and come at us. We definitely improved from last game.”

GW’s attack, however, caused problems for the Midshipmen’s backs all afternoon.

The Colonials’ best chance of the first half came in the 38th minute from senior midfielder Garrett Heine. On a free kick just outside of the box, Heine fired a bullet to the top-left corner of the net but was denied by an impressive save over the crossbar.

A flurry of chances came late in the second half off a number of good services into Navy’s 18. Junior midfielder Koby Osei-Wusu, senior defender Ben Ogedegbe and freshman midfielder Colin Anderson all came within inches of finding the go-ahead goal.

The one that finally came marked just the second goal of Lightbourn’s collegiate career. On Sunday, the 6-foot-3-inch sophomore played 65 minutes up top.

“Obviously he didn’t see much of the field last year but coming in for preseason he looked good, he worked hard over the summer,” Jones said. “As a forward you’ve got to be at the right place at the right time and he’s done that twice this season so far. I thought today his movement was good, he held the ball up, he was strong — he was just a handful. So he deserved that goal.”

Lightbourn’s game-winner also handed him a new title: leading scorer.

His two goals this season now pace all Colonials, while Heine and junior midfielder Oliver Curry trail close behind with one goal apiece.

“It feels kind of crazy honestly,” Lightbourn said. “I was just hoping to get good playing time this year but to think I’m the leading goal-scorer on a team with so many great players — like Garrett, who was one of the leading scorers in the conference [last season] — it’s just surreal.”

The Colonials will try to pick up their third non-conference win Tuesday when they travel to take on ACC foe Wake Forest at 7 p.m.

Watch the game-winning goal here:

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Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 11:28 a.m.

Colonials down Delaware, win sixth straight

Senior Mackenzie Cowley kicks the ball in GW's win against Delaware. Jordan McDonald | Senior Staff Photographer

Senior Mackenzie Cowley kicks the ball in GW’s win against Delaware. Jordan McDonald | Senior Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Marty Fenn.

Whenever a team gets a big win over a tough opponent, the hope is that they can keep that momentum rolling into the next game to avoid a letdown.  

The Colonials were able to do just that Thursday evening at home, following their triumph 1-0 over nationally ranked Arkansas with a 3-0 victory over the Delaware Blue Hens.

Though GW (6-0-0) wasn’t at its sharpest, the Colonials’ control of the midfield and their ability to finish quality chances made all the difference.  

Senior forward MacKenzie Cowley scored in her sixth straight game, and became one of just three players in the country to already have four game-winning goals.

Although the Colonials struck first, it was Delaware (1-6-0) who was getting the best chances early in the game.  Luckily for GW, Miranda Horn was in goal.  

Horn, a redshirt junior, was solid throughout the game – making four saves to keep the Blue Hens off the score sheet.  Perhaps her best effort came about 14 minutes into the first half, when she managed to tip the ball over the crossbar on a laser shot from outside the box.

“Those are actually my favorite kind of saves, because I’m a taller keeper and it’s easier for me to get up high,” Horn said.  “I usually try to get my feet behind [the ball] and catch it, but that was a really nice shot, so I just had to get my fingers to it.”

While Horn was keeping the Colonials in the game, Cowley took advantage of a strange opportunity in the 20th minute.

On a Delaware goal kick, redshirt junior midfielder Ivana Szwejkowski raised up to power a header forward.  The ball ran out past everyone, and Cowley was on it in a flash.  She controlled the ball deftly in the box, chipping the ball over the Delaware keeper and giving the Colonials the lead for good.

GW really got things going in the second half, dominating possession and finding space to operate in the midfield.

“I think we had some of those opportunities in the first half and we missed them, but I’m proud that we made that adjustment,” head coach Sarah Barnes said.  “The wide players did a good job of spacing and finding runners, and I think we were just more assertive.”

Sophomore forward Brittany Cooper was particularly dominant in the second half, using her body and strength well to shield off defenders and hold the ball.  Cooper was the catalyst of the second goal in the 62nd minute,  executing a skillful nutmeg turn by the corner flag to evade two Blue Hens defenders before sending a cross to the back post.  

Freshman midfielder Olivia Di Cristofaro sprinted down the wing and towards the post, volleying the ball into the open net for her first career goal.

“It feels great,” Di Cristofaro said about getting her first score.  “I feel like things are working out and the hard work is paying off. I never really scored that much in club, so it’s a great feeling.”

Senior defender Kate Elson put the finishing touch on the game with a goal in the 86th minute, scoring from a near impossible angle by the corner flag.  

The win means the Colonials continue their unbeaten streak, and also continue to generate more national buzz.  Following the Arkansas win, GW received 17 votes in the NSCAA Coaches Poll.

“I think for the team… they put in a tremendous amount of work,” Barnes said.  “Especially for the seniors, they’ve put so much into the program in the last four years.  Those guys came here when we weren’t very good, so for them to be at this point and see us getting recognition, it’s great.”

The Colonials will hit the road to take on Liberty on Sunday in Lynchburg, VA.  Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.

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Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 8:55 p.m.

Men’s basketball 2016-17 schedule released

Sophomore forward Yuta Watanabe celebrates a 3-point basket in GW's win against Saint Louis last season. Watanabe and the rest of the Colonials will go up against Saint Louis again this season Jan. 28.

Sophomore forward Yuta Watanabe celebrates a 3-point basket in GW’s win against Saint Louis last season. Watanabe and the rest of the Colonials will go up against Saint Louis again this season Jan. 28. Hatchet file photo

In 65 days men’s basketball will tip-off to officially start its 2016-17 season.

On Tuesday afternoon the team announced their full schedule, which includes at least 17 nationally televised games, 13 of which are Atlantic 10 matchups.

After the season opener against Maryland Eastern-Shore, GW will host its first two CBE Classic games before heading to Kansas City.

In their first game outside D.C., the Colonials will face a strong Georgia team that fought its way through Southeastern Conference play before losing to eventual No. 4 seed Kentucky in their conference semi-finals.

In either the CBE Classic finals or the third place game, GW will take on Kansas or UAB before returning home. A contest against Kansas would provide possibly the toughest challenge of the season for the Colonials against a Jayhawks team that received the No. 1 overall seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Games in Foggy Bottom that begin a home-and-home agreement with Penn State and end one with South Florida will not likely provide an RPI boost but instead be important practice before the Dec. 4 tip-off against Florida State.

The Colonials first true road game of the season will be against Temple on Dec. 7. Going up against the Owls will be a game to watch after Temple went 14-4 in the American Athletic Conference and reached the NCAA tournament.

GW will then conclude its out-of-conference play Dec. 22 in Miami. The Hurricanes graduated a couple top players but are still expected to come out on top against the Colonials after reaching the sweet 16 last season.

A-10 games on the road against Saint Joseph’s — last year’s conference champion — and at home against Davidson might give an early preview of the Colonials postseason hopes while hosting late-season battles against St. Bonaventure and Dayton give GW fans games to circle on their calendars.

Of the five conference teams that the Colonials play twice in the season, the VCU series may be the most impactful. After splitting their games 1-1 last season, a sweep for either side could form an easier road to a top position in the A-10 tournament.

Here’s the rest of the schedule so you can plan to tune in or head to the Smith Center.

Full Schedule:

Friday, Nov. 11 vs. Maryland Eastern-Shore (Home Opener)

Tuesday, Nov. 15 vs. Siena (CBE Classic)

Thursday, Nov. 17 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff (CBE Classic)

Monday, Nov. 21 vs. Georgia CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo. (ESPNU)

Tuesday, Nov. 22 vs. Kansas/UAB CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo. (ESPN3/ESPN2)

Saturday, Nov. 26 vs. Penn State

Saturday, Dec. 3 vs. USF

Sunday, Dec. 4 vs. Florida State BB&T Classic at Verizon Center (CBSSN)

Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Temple

Saturday, Dec. 10 vs. Howard

Thursday, Dec. 15 vs. UCF

Thursday, Dec. 22 at Miami

Friday, Dec. 30 at Saint Joseph’s (Start of A-10 Play)

Thursday, Jan. 5 vs. Davidson (ESPNU)

Sunday, Jan. 8 vs. Richmond (NBCSN)

Wednesday, Jan. 11 at VCU (ESPN2)

Sunday, Jan. 15 at La Salle (NBCSN)

Wednesday, Jan. 18 vs. Duquesne

Wednesday, Jan. 25 at George Mason (ASN)

Saturday, Jan. 28 vs. Saint Louis (ASN)

Tuesday, Jan. 31 at Rhode Island (CBSSN)

Saturday, Feb. 4 at Richmond (NBCSN)

Wednesday, Feb. 8 vs. VCU (CBSSN)

Saturday, Feb. 11 vs. St. Bonaventure (NBCSN)

Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Davidson (ASN)

Sunday, Feb. 19 at Duqeusne (NBCSN)

Thursday, Feb. 23 vs. Massachusetts (ASN)

Sunday, Feb. 26 vs. George Mason

Wednesday, March 1 at Fordham

Saturday, March 4 vs. Dayton (NBCSN)

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Senior forward MacKenzie Cowley celebrates her game-winning goal Sunday afternoon in GW's 1-0 upset over No. 17 Arkansas. Andrew Goodman | Senior Staff Photographer

Senior forward MacKenzie Cowley celebrates her game-winning goal Sunday afternoon in GW’s 1-0 upset over No. 17 Arkansas. Andrew Goodman | Senior Staff Photographer

Updated: Sept. 5, 2016 at 4:34 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marty Fenn.

No. 17 Arkansas women’s soccer visited the Mount Vernon campus on Sunday afternoon brimming with confidence.  

The Razorbacks had already raced out to a 5-0-0 start in 2016, including a 2–0 win over then-No. 2 Duke and a 7–1 thrashing of Northern Iowa, helping them climb to 17th in the NCAA Division I rankings.

The visitors even brought their TV crew along. The match seemed like it would be business as usual for the high-powered SEC program.

But in their first-ever televised game, the Colonials (5-0-0) stunned the Razorbacks (5-1-0) with a nail-biting 1-0 victory on a goal from senior forward MacKenzie Cowley just before the end of the first half.

The win marked the Colonials’ second victory against a ranked opponent in program history — their first since taking down No. 10 Virginia in 1996 — and extended the team’s undefeated streak to five games.

“To be honest, I didn’t know [that fact,] and I don’t think anyone on the team did,” head coach Sarah Barnes said. “Any time you do something that hasn’t been done in a long time, it’s a nice milestone.”

“But I think for us, the bigger picture is preparing for conference play and making sure that all of our non-conference games are giving us more experience to be able to win a conference championship and go to the NCAA Tournament,” she said. “That’s the ultimate goal.”

The Colonials took a big step toward that goal after Cowley’s header off a cross from senior defender Kate Elson found the net with just under three minutes to play in the first half.

The Colonials had a single shot on goal up to that point but made the most of a set piece in their attacking third.

Elson dished a short throw-in to junior forward Brittany Cooper, who immediately played the ball back to her. With a nifty touch, Elson flicked the ball past a Razorback defender and carried it towards the box where she lofted a cross that soared over the keeper, finding Cowley’s head at the back post.

“I usually throw the ball in short to [Cooper] or Mia [Barreda’s] feet and then they hold it there for me so that I can run around them,” Elson said.  “The other team doesn’t really expect me to come into the attack because I’m a defender.”

While Elson started the play, Cowley finished it off.  Despite being frustrated for most of the first half at the inability to get on the ball, Cowley saw the opportunity at hand and took full advantage.

“I almost always run back post because I know that whoever is crossing the ball wants to put it there… plus we practice it every single day,” Cowley said with a chuckle.  “Kate always puts it right on my head and I barely have to do anything, which is amazing.”

The goal also kept Cowley’s scoring streak alive. The senior, who led GW with 10 goals as a junior, has scored once in every game this season, giving her a team-best total of five on the year.

“I really want to try to get a goal per game, and that’s been my mentality since the beginning of the year,” Cowley said. “We’ve been getting more chances to finish than we have in the past, so I think that’s also given me more opportunities.”

It wasn’t always pretty, as the Razorbacks dominated possession of the ball for much of the contest, outshot the Colonials 10-3 and played physically all day.

However, coach Barnes’ defense and redshirt junior goalkeeper Miranda Horn were organized, collapsing on balls in the box and making the right plays when they needed to Sunday. The one-goal decision was Horn’s second consecutive shutout and third of the year.

“The balls that they like to play in are 50-50 balls,” Barnes said. “So if you’re matched up correctly, there’s a 50 percent chance you can win the first one, and another 50 percent chance if you’re still marking. That’s a low percentage in the game of soccer.”

The Colonials have a short break before hosting the Delaware Blue Hens on Thursday afternoon at home. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.

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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 12:26 p.m.

Macpherson tabbed as men’s tennis head coach

David Macpherson will helm the 2016-2017 men’s tennis program, Athletic Director Patrick Nero announced Wednesday afternoon.

Macpherson has made a name for himself as the coach of Bob and Mike Bryan over the past decade. He helped lead the pair to an Olympic gold medal and establish the team as one of the most dominant in the tennis community.

“[Macpherson’s] success at the highest level of the sport, both as a player and as a coach, will give our student-athletes an unparalleled environment for growth,” Nero said in a release. “We look forward to seeing David take the program to new heights.”

In 2014, the Tasmania, Australia native was honored as the World Team Tennis Coach of the Year after leading Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to a Davis Cup title.

As a former ATP pro, Macpherson was nearly as successful on the court as he has been as a coach. He reached as high as a No. 11 ranking for individual doubles and a No. 8 ranking for team doubles.

Macpherson has also had previous experience working with younger players. In 2004, he founded David Macpherson Tennis Academy where he coached high-level junior players for numerous years.

“I think working with student-athletes will be wonderful,” Macpherson said in a release. “I’ll be able to talk to the players and coach them from the perspective of the game played at the highest level, so I think that will be a nice advantage for them to have that wisdom and get the best out of themselves.”

The Colonials are coming off a very strong 2015-2016 season where they went undefeated in conference play and beat VCU to earn their third successive Atlantic 10 championship.

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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 1:50 p.m.

DeFeo named as softball head coach

James DeFeo will be the next head coach of GW softball, Athletic Director Patrick Nero announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes nearly three months after former head coach Stacey Schramm resigned from the post last May after six seasons with the program.

“James has experienced success coaching at the highest level of college softball,” Nero said in a release. “We are excited to bring his knowledge to GW, and we are confident that James will build our program into one of the top competitors in the Atlantic 10.”

Going 23-29 overall and 10-13 in Atlantic 10 play, the Colonials returned to the postseason last spring as the No. 6 seed. Back in the playoffs for the first time in three years, the A-10 tournament hosts were eliminated after losing their first two games to Massachusetts and Saint Louis.

DeFeo, who becomes the program’s sixth head coach since its inception in 2003, comes to GW after six seasons at Mercer University where he led the Bears to consecutive conference championship game appearances in 2014 and 2015. He also owned a winning overall record of 147-134.

Before coaching at Mercer, where he also helped set program bests for regular-season victories, conference wins, hits, runs, home runs, batting average and on-base percentage, the Atlantic City, N.J. native served as associate head coach for LSU softball from 2004-2011.

“The first time that I stepped on the GW campus, I knew I was at a special place,” DeFeo said in a release. “With GW’s standard of excellence in the classroom and their unparalleled commitment to the athletic programs, I see great things happening here. I look forward to being part of this process and bringing GW softball to new levels of success.”

Despite graduating two starters in Carlee Gray and Morgan Matetic this offseason, GW welcomes seven freshmen and returns a handful of key contributors, including sophomore pitcher Sarah Costlow and junior center fielder Monica Macchiarulo, for its 2016-2017 campaign.

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Friday, July 29, 2016 3:10 p.m.

Garino agrees to NBA deal with Spurs

Patricio Garino slams a dunk against VCU last season. The former Colonial and Argentine Olympian has agreed to a deal with the San Antonio Spurs. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Patricio Garino slams home a dunk against VCU last season. The former Colonial and Argentine Olympian has agreed to a deal with the San Antonio Spurs. Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Photo Editor

Updated: July 29, 2016 at 3:31 p.m.

Former men’s basketball forward Patricio Garino has reached a deal with the San Antonio Spurs, the team announced Friday. The terms of the contract have yet to be announced.

The 6-foot-6-inch swingman was named to Argentina’s 2016 Olympic roster earlier this month along with NBA veterans Luis Scola and Manu Ginobli, who has spent 14 years with the Spurs.

According to a tweet by The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Garino caught the eye of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich last week in Las Vegas when Argentina played an exhibition contest against the U.S. men’s national team.

Last season, Garino helped lead the Colonials to a 2016 National Invitation Tournament championship –GW’s first ever postseason title– averaging 14.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.37 steals and a 51 percent shooting clip from the field.

Garino also played for the Orlando Magic’s 2016 NBA Summer League team, where he averaged 12.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

The Mar del Plata native will be the first Colonial on an NBA team since 2010-2011, when Pops Mensah-Bonsu appeared in his final season in the pros with the New Orleans Hornets.

Garino and Argentina open play in Rio on Aug. 7 against Nigeria.

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Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Photo Editor

Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Photo Editor

Updated: July 23, 2016 at 3:55 p.m.

Men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan posted on his Facebook page Friday amid “verbal and emotional abuse,” allegations reported by the Washington Post.

“I have always loved my family and that family includes our basketball family. My life is dedicated to them,” the fifth-year head coach wrote. “I have never done anything but love my players and supported them on or off the court-not just for 4 years but for life. That will continue.”

“I want to thank all my players and their parents who publicly and privately supported me today and refuted the false allegations made against me. You are the reason I’ve been able to live such a blessed life. God bless you all! John 8:32.”

The statement comes one day after the Post published an article that cites former and current players, as well as former team staffers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the “offensive, intolerable environment” created by Lonergan.

Scott Tompsett, Lonergan’s attorney, also provided ESPN with a statement on behalf of the coach on Thursday afternoon.

“The Washington Post article is full of lies and half-truths. For example, GWU administrators did not ‘address concerns’ with Coach Lonergan last year. Rather, they looked into allegations and after a thorough investigation, concluded that Coach Lonergan had not violated University policy and that no further action would be taken.”

“The fact of the matter is that the anonymous accusations are not new and they are not true.”

“Coach Lonergan has a well-earned reputation in the college basketball world as a coach who runs his program with integrity and respect. He has always been a champion of diversity and inclusion. Coach Lonergan celebrates those values. Coach Lonergan is proud of his team and its accomplishments both on and off the court. He will aggressively defend himself and his program against false and defamatory accusations.”

A number of former players, including Patricio Garino, Isaiah Armwood and Maurice Creek have publicly defended their former coach.

A GW spokesman said in a statement to the Hatchet Thursday that the University will be bringing in outside counsel to assist in the investigation of allegations against Lonergan.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:

The Hatchet incorrectly reported that head coach Mike Lonergan’s Facebook post had been deleted. Nothing has been deleted off of Lonergan’s Facebook page. We regret this error.

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