Men's Soccer Downs Delaware, 3-1
Oct. 14, 2009
FAIRFAX, Va. - George Mason improved its 2009 record to 8-3-1 overall and 3-1-1 in Colonial Athletic Association men's soccer matches with a 3-1 win over Delaware on Wednesday evening at George Mason Stadium. The Patriots are 6-1-1 in their past nine contests.
Sophomore midfielder Ryan Gracia gave Mason an early lead against a Delaware team that fell to 5-8-0 and 2-3-0 in the CAA after taking the loss. In the 11th minute, Gracia scored his third goal of the season, curving the ball from the far left wing off Fightin' Blue Hens' goalkeeper Brandon Paul's outstretched hands and into the upper right corner of the net. Junior forward Irvin Martinez was credited with an assist on the goal after receiving the ball at midfield and hitting Gracia in stride as he streaked down the field.
In the 25th minute, Delaware tied the score at one when sophomore Darren O'Connor scored his first goal of the year. Fightin' Blue Hens' junior midfielder Jon Scheer took a corner kick and lofted the ball into the box, where O'Connor jumped and headed the ball into the right side of the net past Mason goalkeeper Sean Kelley for Delaware's lone goal of the night.
George Mason regained the lead in the 37th minute when the Patriots turned up the offensive attack a notch. After a stop by the Mason defensive unit, the Patriots quickly transitioned to offense, and found junior Ernesto Marquez roaming free down the right sideline. Marquez received the pass, dribbled toward the goal and crossed the ball into the box, where junior Fro Adu stuck out his foot and knocked the ball past Paul for his first score of the season.
Mason added to its lead in the 48th minute when sophomore Draymond Washington scored his fourth goal of the year. Adu dribbled the ball into the middle of the field and passed the ball to Gracia inside of the box. After received the pass, Gracia uncorked a shot that Paul went to his knees to stop. The ball caromed off Paul directly to Washington, who kicked the ball into the open net to give the Patriots a two-goal lead.
After taking a 3-1 lead, Mason's defensive unit took control, turning away a number of scoring opportunities by Delaware, who finished the match with 17 shots and a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks. Kelley was superb in goal with 10 saves in 90 minutes of action. The Lexington, Ky. native leads the conference in saves this season.
The Patriots return to the pitch on Saturday, Oct. 17 at George Mason Stadium against Northeastern in a rematch of last year's CAA Championship Match. The opening kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.