The Official Blog of Mason Athletics

Cote Learning From a Former Great

George Mason true freshman Sean Cote was named CAA Rookie of the Week on Tuesday. The native of Plano, Texas came in at the half in Mason’s season opener and despite being down a player and down a goal, he shut down George Washington as Mason rallied for a 3-1 win. He got the start in net against American and he picked up a shutout to beat the Eagles and win the D.C. College Cup title.

The GoMason Blog spoke with someone who knows what it takes to be a successful goalkeeper at Mason and in the CAA as we had a chance to talk with former Mason keeper and current assistant coach John O’Hara. A former four-time All-CAA selection, O’Hara was CAA Rookie of the Year in 2001 and first-team All-Conference each of the following three seasons. He was an All-Region selection as well and he is second all-time at Mason in goalkeeper minutes and shutouts.

On being a successful goalkeeper in the CAA:
“I think the biggest thing is the communication with your back four, your defensive midfielder and it’s really important to be organized defensively. Usually the team that wins the conference is the team with the lowest goals-against average and that’s our aim for this year, to have a below .50 goals against average. Organization starts from the back, starts with whatever keeper is in, making sure defenders are tucked in, nice and composed, compact and hard to break through. Obviously, goalkeeping wise, skill wise, the guy at the back has to be a calm leader and have a good voice. In our conference there are a lot of teams with 6’2”, 6’3”, 6’4” forwards so he has to be good in the air and sharp off his line off through balls. And his kicking game is important. Can we spring counter attacks, can we get the ball to our forwards as quick as possible, can we find an outlet with our target forward?”

On the skills Sean Cote possesses that will make him a good keeper in the CAA:
“I think Sean is a very, very composed goalkeeper right now. Not much seems to phase him. As a freshman he has a very level head on his shoulders, listens every day and wants to get into at practice every day, tears into it, has a very, very good kicking game, he’s able to pick guys out really quickly. Obviously his size and frame are tough to beat, especially one on one, and we saw that against American in the first half. They had a through ball and he came out and made a big save 20 minutes into the game. That’s going to be key for us. If we do have a breakdown in the back, he’s there to come out and make a big save.”

Here’s an interview with Sean Cote about his first few matches in goal, as well as this upcoming weekend’s matches at Penn and Villanova.

Speaking of soccer, you can find out all the details of FIFA’s visit to Mason by reading this release on and there’s video of the visit as well, including an interview with Dr. Merten and some of John Harkes’ talk with the Mason men’s soccer team.


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