Not even 102 minutes could give the AU men’s soccer team its first D.C. College Cup title since 2009, as Timi Mulgrew’s double-overtime goal led George Mason past the Eagles, 2-1, Sept. 1 at Reeves Field.
Mulgrew’s game winner came just 2:34 into the second overtime period, when he received a pass from freshman Ghiles Harmouche in the box and slipped the ball past AU goalkeeper Billy Knutsen.
The win now marks the third consecutive year the Patriots have won the D.C. College Cup.
“It’s tough to say we had a good weekend when you lose an overtime game, but I thought the team had come together very well,” AU head coach Todd West said. “We lost to a very good George Mason team today.”
AU (2-2, 0-0 PL) started the tournament on the right foot after winning 7-0 against Howard Aug. 30.
The Eagles recorded their largest offensive output since 1992 with four different players finding the back of the net.
Juniors Chris Kuramoto and Colin Seigfreid both notched career highs with two goals each, while Alassane Kane added two as well and Patrick Mehlert chipped in one.
“It was a good confidence booster,” Seigfreid said of the Howard win. “Before [Thursday] we only had two goals, so it was good to get some others guys that haven’t been scoring.”
George Mason (3-0, 0-0 CAA) entered the match with AU having defeated George Washington 3-0 on the first day of the tournament and had not lost at Reeves Field to AU since 1999.
“Today was a physical battle and a psychological battle,” George Mason head coach Greg Andrulis said. “We persevered against a very good American team. Congrats to the team for hanging tough and earning a hard-fought result.”
AU struck first in the 18th minute against the Patriots when Cristobal Soto knocked home a header off Seigfreid’s free kick from 25-yards out. The goal was the first allowed by Mason this season.
The Patriots responded quickly, with the offensive pressure after the ensuing goal forcing a handball by Seth Goldman outside the 18-yard box. This set up Julio Arjona’s free kick strike seven minutes later to tie the game up at 1-1.
The game turned into a physical match in the second half with several scuffles occurring including multiple injuries as both teams searched for their second score.
Mason junior Wes Sever suffered a separated shoulder after being stepped on in the box off a throw in the 58th minute. Then, Mehlert received a gash above his eye after a GMU player elbowed him. A total of four yellow cards were given out in a span of four minutes.
Knutsen, who recorded four saves in the game, came up big in the final minutes of regulation to keep the match tied. He punched away a shot taken by George Mason’s John Gardner with 2:30 to play, and the teams headed to overtime tied at one.
According to Seigfreid and West, the road trip to California to open the season eventually took a toll on the team, and the fatigue showed in the 10-minute overtime periods as Mason outshot AU 5-0.
After a scoreless first OT period, the Patriots came out of the break on the attack with Mulgrew scoring the game-winning goal after he was able to slip between a pair of Eagle defenders.
For the game, George Mason outshot the Eagles 18-9.
Despite falling to their cross-town rivals for the third consecutive time, West knows these are the kind of games that will prepare the Eagles for the Patriot League season.
“This is the stuff we do to get us battle tested,” West said. “I told them we finished third in California, finished second here, next tournament we’re going to win it.”