Richard Burke, the only non U.S. member in American University's flotilla of native players, scored on a free kick midway through the second half yesterday to give the Eagles a 1-0 victory over host George Washington.

Burke, a freshman midfielder from Liverpool, England, scored on a hard line drived into the left corner of the net from 25 yards in the 67th minute.

"They were expecting a chip shot," Burke said, "so Eddie (teammate Eduardo Lopez) said 'You better strike it hard.' I did, and it floated in the back of the net."

AU improved its record to 5-2-1 and kept alive its chances for an NCAA postseason bid. Burke's goal also ended a scoring drought; his was the first goal for American in four games. Goalkeeper Bill Ruvo, who was seldom tested, earned his sixth shutout of the year with the able assistance of sweeper Charler Davis and fullback Kevin Germain.

"We've given up just two goals all year," said AU Coach Pete Mehlert. "Old Dominion gets a goal on a penalty kick in overtime and beats us."

George Washington, which fell to a deceptive 3-4-1, played well in the first half, particularly on defense. The Colonials attacked the ball consistently and frustrated AU with their offsides trap, which took away AU's attempts to use the long ball on offense.