The Patriots return to play at Mason on Oct. 2 against the VCU Rams. Photo By Daniel McEnrue.

The Patriots return to play at Mason on Oct. 2 against the VCU Rams. Photo By Daniel McEnrue.

Coming off a 2-0 loss at the University of Maryland, George Mason University’s men’s soccer team opened their conference schedule with a scoreless tie at Old Dominion University.

The No. 5 Terrapins came into the game with a 3-1-1 record to Mason’s 3-2. Though in record they appeared competitive, the Terps, only two years removed from their national championship season, looked as if they were returning to form Tuesday night.

In the second year of a home-and-home series, one in which Mason won the game in Fairfax 2-0, the Patriots could not get their offense going.

Sophomore midfielder Derek Markheim had the only shot on goal of the entire night, one of his two shots in the 77 minutes he played. Redshirt senior forward Ernesto Marquez had the only other shot.

The game was scoreless in the first half, but early in the second, Terp junior midfielder Matt Kassel took a free kick that was put in off the back of Terp sophomore defender/midfielder London Woodberry. Nine minutes later, Kassel took another free kick that went in off a Mason defender.

Those watching the GameTracker online may have been elated for a moment as the site read “own goal” to make the score 1-1. That was the most excitement that Patriots fans would find all night, until the site quickly fixed the error.

Freshman goalkeeper Sean Cote did not have his best game, allowing two goals and only keeping six out.

Mason was out-shot 17-3 in match number 1,000 in Maryland’s program’s history.

The Patriots then traveled to Norfolk, Va. to open their conference schedule against Old Dominion. The Monarchs opened their conference portion with a 1-0 win at home against William & Mary. The game went to double overtime, ending in a scoreless tie.

The Patriots fared slightly better, as six players had nine shots on goal between them, led by Markheim, who had three. The Monarchs had 11 shots on goal split between four players, with three players having three each.

Both men in the goal had a good game. Cote had a good comeback game, as he held up his end of a clean sheet by saving all 11 shots. The Monarchs’ redshirt senior goalkeeper Evan Newton stopped two in overtime for a total of eight in the game.

The Patriots and the Monarchs had opportunities to score the entire game, but due to the good playing of the goalkeepers and a few shots that were just off the mark, most notably a Mason shot that hit the crossbar, shots were frequent but goals were scarce.

The Monarchs went to 1-0-1, and the Patriots went to 0-0-1, putting the Monarchs in the division lead and leaving the Patriots tied for sixth.

The Patriots have six days off before they play the VCU Rams at home on Oct. 2 at 5 p.m.