Men's team tromps George Mason U.
Nothing went according to plan for AU Men's Soccer this weekend.
First, Hurricane Isabel tore through the mid-Atlantic, shutting the school down for Thursday and Friday. Then, Saturday's match at George Mason was changed from a night game to a day game, and moved to an intramural field. Finally, not to vary from the theme, sophomore Gordon Templeman drilled two goals from his defensive midfield position to lead the Eagles to a 3-1 win.
"It was a team effort," said Templeman, himself surprised at his performance. "I was just lucky enough to be on the end today."
Despite the change in plans, the Eagles are right where they wanted to be going into conference play.
"This is a huge win, being on the road, in the region, and against a team ranked higher than us," said Head Coach Todd West. "We said that if we could go into [the] conference season with a .500 record with the schedule we played, we'd be set. At 3-3-1, we're very happy."
But things looked less bright earlier. With senior Andrew Herman, tied for AU's scoring lead, on the bench due to illness, the Patriots had the more dangerous chances at the start. The most dangerous came in the sixth minute. GMU forward Karim Manneh broke in alone on goal but hesitated, and Thomas Myers, AU's junior 'keeper, charged and blocked Manneh's effort with his leg.
GMU continued to look dangerous through the first 15 minutes. But AU gained momentum with a 20-yard effort from freshman midfielder Nathan Baker, which hit the left post in the 16th minute.
AU's attack continued to emerge, though it was not dominant. But the Eagles forced several first half corner kicks, and in the 33rd minute capitalized on one.
Junior midfielder Peter Philipakos took the corner from the left side, and found Templeman wide open about 30 yards from goal. Templeman settled, then drilled the ball past GMU 'keeper John O'Hara, who was frozen by the shot's swerve.
"It had a tail," said Templeman. "It was headed left and then went right, and I think it fooled him a little."
But GMU deserved at least a goal for their first half efforts, and finally got one just before the break. Patriot midfielder Matt Mendy started the move, finding Manneh at the top of the penalty area. Manneh, with his back to goal, played to his right, finding forward Steve Alabi, who finished clinically past Myers and into the right side netting from 12 yards out.