Despite a 3-2 victory against the George Washington Colonials to open the D.C. College Cup, the AU men’s soccer team fell to the cross-town rival George Mason University Patriots 3-0 in the tournament final Saturday.
This two-game spurt came only days after the Eagles (1-2-1) returned home from University Park, Pa., after tying the No. 15 Ohio State University Buckeyes, 1-1, and losing to the No. 18 Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions, 2-0.
The Eagles emerged victorious against the GWU Colonials (0-1-1) Thursday behind two goals from Alassane Kane to give AU its first victory of the season and Head Coach Todd West his 100th career victory.
“I thought there were stretches we were very good,” West said. “I was happy for the fact that we fought through it and found a way to get a good win.”
Kane scored his first goal in the 35th minute off a Patrick Mehlert pass near the 18-yard box. Nearly a minute after the second half started with AU carrying a 1-0 lead, GWU answered on a penalty kick after an Eagle handball.
In the 61st minute, West brought in sophomore Tyler Collins as a substitute. Moments later, Kane switched the ball from right to left onto the foot of Collins, who took a 20-yard strike to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
“[Collins has] done very well for us, we can play him in a lot of different spots,” West said. “We joked it was a pretty good substitution because his first touch was a goal. A lot of guys logged a lot of minutes last Saturday and Monday at Penn State, so having the ability to put some guys in with some fresh legs I think was huge for us [Thursday].”
The Eagles and Kane added to the lead 12 minutes later. Defender Adem Gokturk intercepted a GWU pass and played it to Colin Seigfreid, who served the ball across the box to Kane running down the left side to notch his second goal of the game.
The Colonials cut into AU’s lead in the 80th minute, but were unable to find the game-tying score as the Eagles held on for the 3-2 victory.
“It shows that I have been able to hang around for a little while,” West said of earning his 100th win. “Thankfully, the administration has let me coach a lot of games, but it’s exciting to finally get it out of the way. People started talking about it and I rather just focus on the team; the team achievements and how good this group can be.”
Eagles fall to George Mason in finals
George Mason’s 9-0 win over the Howard Bison on Thursday meant the Patriots (2-1-0) and the Eagles squared off in the finals of the D.C. College Cup for the fourth straight season.
After 90 minutes, it was the Patriots walking away with the trophy for the second straight year after a second-half surge helped them defeat the Eagles 3-0.
“Twleve goals in two nights — we’ll take it and certainly a lot of credit to the guys for finishing,” George Mason Head Coach Greg Andrulis said. “But a shutout against a very good American team, a shutout in a lot of different ways; we gave them very few good looks at the goal, and that’s a credit to our guys in the midfield.”
Although the game was scoreless at halftime, the Eagles, who were playing their fourth match in an eight-day stretch, found little on the offensive end as Cristobal Soto recorded AU’s only two shots in the match compared to 17 attempted by George Mason.
Tournament MVP Taylor Morgan, who took a 15-yard chip to the chest and shot a left-footed side volley past AU goalkeeper Matt Makowski, put the Patriots ahead 1-0 in the 58th minute.
George Mason then responded with goals in the 71st and 82nd minute by freshman Verneri Valimaa and sophomore Wesley Sever, respectively, to seal the 3-0 victory. Adem Gokturk, Ryan Morales and Marco Dej were selected to the D.C. College Cup All-Tournament Team.
The Eagles will look to bounce back against the Liberty Flames on Friday, Sept. 9, in the team’s first home match of the season.