Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

GW wraps season with loss

With no spot in the A-10 tournament to play for Saturday, GW could only hope to end a grueling season by winning a small confidence boost.

After dropping three straight conference games, most recently at the hands of No. 20 St. Louis, the Colonials (5-13-0) traveled to North Carolina this weekend for a showdown with yet another top-25 team in No. 21 Charlotte. All too typical of their 2012 play though, GW conceded both an early goal and a late one while failing to garner enough offensive mojo to close the 2-1 deficit.

Despite the disappointing loss, head coach Craig Jones did not question the amount of effort his players put forward.

“To be honest with you, I’m very proud of their performance. We showed a lot of fight, a lot of courage, and we worked probably the hardest we’ve worked in a game this season,” Jones said.

A Colonials foul in the fifth minute allowed the 49ers to set up for a free kick, on which they ultimately converted with a goal before GW had a chance to clear. It was the type of early blow that can stifle a team’s tenacity, the same type of early blow that the Colonials have become all too familiar with this season.

In his last game as a Colonial, senior captain Seth Rudolph answered the call with a successful penalty kick in the 19th minute. Ultimately though, Rudolph’s seventh goal of the season would be overshadowed by a heartbreaking score by Charlotte with just under six minutes to play in regulation. It was yet another game for GW where a sound effort was voided by untimely breakdowns on the defensive end.

Jones knows that while his defense needs to improve by next season, winning will be more about putting together 90 minutes of solid play.

“We have to work on our individual defending all over the field I think. But I thought we put some stuff together offensively. We just have to find that final product – find the back of the net,” Jones said.

A combination of a young roster and nagging injuries is perhaps the best explanation for the Colonials’ struggles this season. The rookies were forced to develop in-game chemistry with a new group essentially every week, making it hard for them to get comfortable within a consistent unit.

As Jones noted in his personal blog, seven of his players, including a goalkeeper, were listed as injured for GW’s season-ending bout with Charlotte.

“I’ve never been involved in a year at GW where there have been so many injuries. It’s tough when you can’t play a consistent back line or a consistent midfield,” Jones said. “We’ve tried to deal with it as best as we could but the results show it’s tough to do that.”

Looking forward to next season, Jones is confident that his current freshman class will be primed and ready to go after garnering so much playing time this year. The focus in the off-season will be on recuperating a hurt and exhausted team, as well as seeking recruits that can increase the Colonials’ speed of play.

“We know what we want in terms of our 2013 recruits,” Jones said. “We’re looking to bring some one in that can play fast in some of our attacking options.”

In the meantime, Jones has another task on his mind: getting a new contract. It’s something he joked would make a great Christmas present as he heads into the holiday season, since his current contract is just a one-year guarantee.

Jones is confident that despite his team’s poor results compared to last season, the program overall has not ceased to move forward.

“I’m a huge fan of what the athletic department is doing in terms of supporting sports. There’s nothing guaranteed, but obviously I want to get a contract,” Jones said. “I think that we’ve made some strides in terms of our program in general, and in terms of academics and community service. The results haven’t gone our way, but we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy year.”

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