LEXINGTON, VA. – Two goals in the second half pushed the George Washington Colonials past the Liberty Flames, 2-0, Sunday afternoon at the Sculley Memorial Tournament.
With the setback, Liberty drops to 1-3 on the season. George Washington evens their record at 2-2.
The contest started with each team having a shot attempt. The Flames worked an attempt off the opening kickoff. Midfielder Juan Nino ripped a shot from the top of the 18-yard box during the first minute of play, wide right. The Colonials’ attempt came off a free kick from 20 yards out, which Liberty goalkeeper Sam Chappell stopped near the right post during the fourth minute.
In the ninth minute, midfielder Tim Harbison sent a shot towards the left corner of the goal off a corner kick, which George Washington goalkeeper J.P. van der Merwe dove and deflected away.
With play settling mainly in the midfield, Liberty midfielder Sachem Wilson pounced on a ball off a Colonial defender and ripped a shot from the top of box wide to the right during the 30th minute.
In the scoreless first half, Liberty outshot George Washington, 5-2, and led in corner kicks, 1-0.
The second half opened with Flames forward Austin Wyman moving into space on the left side of the penalty area for a shot during the 47th minute. However, Colonial keeper van der Merwe saw the attempt off Wyman’s foot and easily corralled it for a save.
In transition, Wyman again got a scoring opportunity during the 54th minute. Midfielder Juan Nino push a pass onto the forward foot on the left side of the box, which van der Merwe batted away and was cleared by the George Washington defense.
At 59:04, the Colonials netted the contest’s first goal. In transition, midfielder Ross Higgins sent a long crossing pass to the back post, which forward Seth Rudolph headed in for his first goal of the year and a 1-0 George Washington lead.
Five minutes later, Rudolph added to his team’s lead. Off a free kick from 20 yards out, the forward tucked the kick into the far right corner of the net for his second goal of the game and a 2-0 edge.
Pushing players forward, Liberty put pressure on the Colonial defense only to turned away during the 69th minute. A shot by Flames defender Greg White was blocked down by van der Merwe. The rebound slid to Wyman, who sent an attempt towards the far post, which a George Washington defender cleared off the goal line, preventing Liberty from cutting into its deficit.
Liberty continued to press the Colonial defense, working White into the space for a shot from the top of the box during the 84th minute. The Flames defender’s shot sailed high.
In the 89th minute, midfielder Tyler Bullock lifted a shot, which was saved by van der Merwe, sealing the 2-0 Colonial win.
Liberty outshot George Washington, 12-5. The Flames also held the advantage in corner kicks, 5-1.
Chappell made one save for Liberty, while van der Merwe recorded six saves for George Washington.
Flames midfielder Johnny Torres, defender Uriah Bentick and White were named to the all-tournament team.
Liberty next travels to Washington, D.C., for a contest with the Howard Bison. Match time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.