The soccer rivalry between American and George Washington has raged for 25 years, but yesterday's installment was unlike most of the others. Without their two best players, and preparing for an important conference game, the Colonials were flat, enabling American to win for the first time this month, 4-1, at Francis Field.

The Eagles (11-7-1) had gone winless in their last six matches (0-5-1), scoring only four goals. But the Colonials were missing top scorer Mario Lone and fullback Erwin Stierle, both serving one-game suspensions for receiving fifth yellow cards in last week's 2-0 loss to Rutgers.

Top defender Andrew Morrison has four yellow cards, so Coach George Lidster elected to rest the senior rather than risk his missing Saturday's key Atlantic 10 game at St. Bonaventure for the same reason.

"We had two players out anyway, so we couldn't risk playing Andrew," said Lidster. "Saturday is a must-win situation."

A George Washington victory Saturday will clinch a berth in the conference tournament; a loss could jeopardize its chances. The top four teams qualify.

The Eagles' George Markides opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a pretty bicycle kick after Eric Leibin's header was saved but left on the goal line by Chris Yorke.

Three minutes later, Jon Hall converted a soft turnaround shot from the top of the box that eluded Yorke. Less than a minute later, Hall hit a powerful shot into the top left corner from 30 yards.

American's final goal came in the 37th minute on more sloppy defense by the Colonials. Jessie Skipwith's throw-in was headed by Leibin at the goal, but Yorke couldn't control and Brad Atkins tapped in the rebound for a 4-0 lead.

The Colonials played better in the second half and controlled the tempo, but beat goalie Scott Pelster once. Sami Hijazi took a pass from Renzo Massa and fired a shot past Pelster at the 61-minute mark. The Colonials outshot the Eagles, 17-12, and held them to three second-half shots.

"We knew {Lone and Morrison} were missing," Eagles Coach Pete Mehlert said. "But Lone has been struggling all season anyway. It wasn't like we would worry about him. Anytime you win it cures a lot of discontent.

"We capitalized on our scoring chances and finished them. It wasn't like we were brilliant. They were so bad in the back and we just got the crossing passes in."

The Eagles won 10 of their first 12 games this season, their best start since 1985, but their demise began when freshman goalkeeper David Urbach -- who was leading the nation in goals-against average -- broke his hand Sept. 30. He's expected to practice today.


George Washington....0....1....1

GOALS -- American: Markides 16:16; Hall 19:55, 20:40; Atkins 37:03. George Washington: Hijazi 61:27.

ASSISTS -- American: Leibin 2, Krosnowski 2, Kress, Skipwith. George Washington: Massa.

SHOTS -- American 12, George Washington 17.

SAVES -- American, Pelster 7. George Washington, Yorke 8.

George Mason 3, Richmond 0: Senior forward Larry Tabash of Robinson High scored two goals -- one unassisted -- to lead the Patriots in Richmond. George Mason (11-4-3, 5-1 Colonial Athletic Association) is in a first-place tie with James Madison and William and Mary.

George Mason....1....2....3


GOALS -- George Mason: Tabash 10:47, 80:05, Anderson 87:03.

ASSISTS -- George Mason: Young, Taplah, Shaver.

SHOTS -- George Mason 12; Richmond 11.

SAVES -- George Mason: Leite 4. Richmond: Bruklis 5.

Maryland 2, Old Dominion 0: Forward John Garvey recorded his first multigoal game of the season, scoring in each half to lead the Terrapins (10-6-1) in College Park.

Old Dominion....0....0....0


GOALS -- Maryland: Garvey 24:11, 60:02.

ASSISTS: Cotton, Smedley.

SHOTS -- Maryland 6, Old Dominion 5.

SAVES -- Maryland: Isaaco 3; Old Dominion: Mallia 2.

Georgetown 4, St. Francis (Pa.) 3: Freshman forward Peter Couhig scored with 1:41 left in the game -- his fourth game-winning goal of the year -- and Todd Kinney scored twice to lead the host Hoyas.


St. Francis....0....3....3

GOALS -- Georgetown: Kinney 17:15, 59:13, Kops 27:00, Couhig 88:19. St. Francis: Kennedy 63:20, 86:32, Bimbi 75:28.

ASSISTS -- Georgetown: Keegan, Dillow, Couhig, Kinney. St. Francis: Bimbi, Gburek.

SHOTS -- Georgetown 20, St. Francis 12.

SAVES -- Georgetown: de los Heros 5; St. Francis: Pieklo 8.