This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Nora Princiotti
The men’s soccer team continued its consistent play Sunday with a 2-0 shutout win over Fordham for its first Atlantic 10 victory this season
The Colonials defense continued its hot streak and finally received support from the offense, which has struggled to counterbalance the strong play on the defensive side.
GW carried their momentum from recent ties against Saint Louis and Dayton, but entered Sunday’s game with the intent on proving themselves as a formidable conference contender, capable of winning under pressure.
Playing tough opponents has not been a problem. GW have taken three teams into overtime play who have received votes in the SCAA Top 25, two of them ranked.
Oddly, it’s been teams with losing records that have caused the Colonials trouble. Teams like Saint Peters (2-6-4) and NJIT (5-8-2) have handed GW losses this season. The Colonials didn’t want to add Fordham, the A-10’s fourth worst team, to the list.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” head coach Craig Jones said. “We knew it was going to be a constant battle for 90 minutes so it was a great performance for us. A clean sheet, two goals and one in the A-10.”
Fordham (3-7-1) is no offensive juggernaut, but the shutout victory still saw only seven total shots from the Rams’ offense.
Junior goalie Luke Farrell made two saves in Sunday’s victory. Farrell, who replaced Jean-Pierre van der Merwe for the first time against Dayton, has excelled in the starting role, recording his second shutout in three games.
“He deserves to start and right now he’s got the number one spot and really it’s his to lose,” Jones said. “Two clean sheets in three games – he’s really stepped up and he looks like he’s enjoying it.
Farrell and the Colonials’ defense have had only one goal scored against them thus far in A-10 play, but through the first two games of A-10 play GW’s offense could only amount a single goal.
The script to have been similarly in the first half of Sunday’s match, where the Colonials could muster up only two total shots.
Sophomore forward Jonny Forrest has been held to 418 minutes on the pitch due to injury after beginning the season with two goals in three games. Presumed healthy by his coaches, he was substituted in the 27th minute with instructions to stay upfield and do one thing: score.
“Anytime he’s on the field he gives us a different dimension,” Jones said. “When he’s on the field he can score goals.”
The first half was a case of ‘not quite’ for the Colonials’ offense. Despite GW being the quicker team for most of the match, GW were unable to convert those plays into scoring opportunities.
That changed shortly after halftime. Forrest headed a free kick by senior Abdul Shaban into the back of the Fordham net to give the Colonials a 1-0 lead.
Forrest had another chance with 36 minutes left to play, but pulled up limp after beating two Fordham defenders to an open ball in front of the net. Forrest was taken out of the match with an injury.
An unusual suspect also contributed offensively with 85:31 recorded on the clock. Freshman defender Sam Summerlin, who only had one previous shot taken in the entire season, scored his first goal of the season.
“I was behind [the middle defender] by five yards or so but I knew he was going to play it back either to the outside back or to the goalie. I was already pushed high enough so I decided to take a chance and I guess I just beat the goalie to the ball and poked it in,” he said. “I had no celebration planned.”
The Colonials have a good opportunity to continue to develop their momentum when they take on Rhode Island (2-7) Friday at 7 p.m.