A more competitive college soccer game hardly could be imagined, as Barry Henderson scored in the 109th minute of play, during the second overtime period, to give American a 1-0 victory over George Mason yesterday at AU.
Coming into the game, each nationally ranked team had one loss. Last year, American beat the Patriots, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. When the teams met during the regular season last year, they tied, 1-1. It appeared yesterday's game might end in a tie, also.
"By the end of the game, I think (George Mason Coach) Gordon Bradley and I felt we would be happy to get out of here with a 0-0 tie," said AU Coach Pete Mehlert.
The Eagles' break came late in the second overtime when David Nakhid got a loose ball at midfield and dribbled past George Mason halfback Mike Reynolds.
Henderson made a diagonal run and Nakhid slid him the ball. After Henderson had gotten past Doug Bradley, the George Mason sweeper, he beat Patriots goalie Mike Benitez from directly in front of the net at 108:32.
It was Henderson's first goal of the year. "David pushed it to me," Henderson said. "I dummied and let it pass me. The defender mis-kicked it. I continued to dribble and pushed it past the keeper."
AU is 13-1-1, Mason 14-2.
The game brought together two of the country's leading scorers. The Patriots' Sam Sumo and American's Mike Brady were held scoreless partly because of a wet field and partly because Reynolds, an all-America, marked Brady and Troy Regis, the Eagles' quickest player, shadowed Sumo.
"Definitely, the field conditions had something to do with it," said Reynolds. "They couldn't take the first couple of steps to get going. Andy Hay (of Mason) couldn't take any of his runs. Sumo couldn't get going."
Henderson nearly gave the Eagles the lead midway throught the first half, but he failed to convert a pass from Steve Marland, and the ball rolled through the goal area. Maryland 1, Towson State 0
Michael Collins broke a scoreless tie with a goal at 53:10 for the Terrapins (11-4-0) in College Park. Virginia 4, James Madison 0
Jeff Gaffney, who played at Walt Whitman High School, scored twice to lead the Cavaliers (14-1-1) over the Dukes in Harrisonburg. Howard 2, Georgetown 0
Walter Pascoe scored both goals for the Bison, who were playing at home. George Washington 2, William and Mary 2
In Williamsburg, the Colonials took the lead on goals by John Menditto and Orville Reynolds, but the Indians tied it on Scott Bell's goal three minutes before halftime and Jonas Sedegren's effort two minutes into the second half. Navy 5, Catholic 1
Freshman forward Ted Holt's two goals led the Midshipmen at home.