FAIRFAX, Va. – Sophomore midfielder Ritchie Barry factored into all three of the Hawks' scoring plays with two goals and an assist, but the Saint Joseph's men's soccer squad ultimately fell to George Mason, 4-3, at George Mason Stadium on Wednesday evening. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 7-5-2 overall (1-2-2 A-10) while the Patriots improve to 5-6-0 overall (3-2-0 A-10).
George Mason scored three of its four goals in the first half, first striking in the 20th minute on a chip shot, off of a cross, from two yards out.
Saint Joseph's responded just 42 seconds later as junior forward Leon Maric hit Barry, who headed in his first of two goals on the night from the left side. Of note, the helper marked the first assist of Maric's collegiate career.
In the 26th minute, George Mason's Tunde Akinlosotu, who had scored the Patriots' first goal, drew a foul inside the box to set up a PK opportunity for teammate Colin Brezniak; Brezniak fired off his shot into the left half of the net to put the home team back ahead, 2-1.
Saint Joseph's sophomore midfielder Alvin Dahn would come through with the equalizer in the 34th minute, as he took a pass, from Barry, on the right side and fired off his seventh goal of the season into the top-left corner.
George Mason capitalized on a flurry of events in the final minutes of the first half; Tolu Ibikunle hit the post at the 42:51 mark, and the ball bounced back into play to Pablo Pertusa. Pertusa fired off his initial shot, but SJU freshman defender Johnny Cunningham made the team save on the goal line to deflect the ball back into play, right back to Pertusa. Pertusa put back his own shot from two yards out to give the Patriots a 3-2 edge at the 42:57 mark.
The Hawks held the Patriots off the scoreboard for a majority of the second half, as Saint Joseph's freshman goalkeeper Joseph Boehm (7-5-2, 1-2-2 A-10) made three huge saves, a diving stop to his left in the 56th minute, a 1-v-1 stop from inside the box in the 57 minute, and a third stop in the 75th minute.
However, the Patriots added an insurance tally on Grant Robinson's sliding shot from 10 yards out to open their lead back out by two, 4-2, entering the final 7:57 of play.
Maric fired off a shot on net in the 84th minute, but George Mason's Clark Gronek made his fourth save of the night to keep the two-goal edge.
Barry completed his brace, assisted by Dahn, with 10 seconds remaining in regulation as the sophomore gained a bit of space and hit the top-left corner of the net from 18 yards out.
There were 30 shots for the match, with Saint Joseph's owning a slight 16-14 edge, but George Mason scored on four of its nine shots on goal. Barry (21', 65', 90') landed three of SJU's seven shots on goal, hitting the back of the net in the 21st and 90th minutes, while freshman midfielder Garrett Lyons (38'), senior midfielder Kyle Lochbihler (44'), and Maric (84') also forced Gronek into saves.
Saint Joseph's returns home to host St. Bonaventure (5-7-1, 2-3-0 A-10) this Saturday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field. The match will serve as SJU's annual Alumni Night and Reception and Camper Appreciation Night as well as Pediatric Cancer Awareness Night; more information on all three to follow at SJUHawks.com.