Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoyas Win 7th Straight With 6th Shutout

Wednesday night was far from a routine Georgetown win, but the men’s soccer team (9-4-1, 5-1 Big East) overcame unusually poor field conditions on the road against a competent Pittsburgh Panthers squad (6-6-2, 1-3-2 Big East) to stretch its win-streak to seven games and maintain its lead atop the Big East Blue Division with a 1-0 victory. The match was the last-ever to be played at Pittsburgh’s Founders Field; it will be replaced next fall by Petersen Sports Complex, a field turf stadium on the campus of Pittsburgh University.

“It was as bad a field as I’ve ever played on for a college soccer game,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “It’s just an awful place to play, but I’m very proud of the boys for getting three points.”

The converted rugby pitch proved an obstacle to the Hoyas’ passing-oriented playing style, but senior forward and co-captain Jose Colchao’s goal in the 78th minute off a cross from classmate and midfielder Seth C’deBaca was enough for the win.

“It wasn’t the prettiest goal we’ve scored all year, but it was a beautiful three points at the end of it,” Wiese said.

The Blue and Gray managed just two shots on goal over the 90 minutes including Colchao’s tally, but Wiese was nonetheless pleased with the Hoyas’ ability to threaten in the final third. Senior defender Ben Slingerland, freshman forward Gabe Padilla and sophomore midfielder Tommy Muller – who hit the post with a header off a set piece in the first half – all nearly scored in the winning effort.

“There wasn’t a lot of possession for either team,” Wiese said. “It was a pretty nasty game to watch, but having said that, we did carry the chances.”

Senior goalkeeper Matthew Brutto registered four saves in his fifth shutout of the season. The win was Georgetown’s fifth in a row in the conference and proved that the Hoyas have the ability to win Big East games under adverse circumstances.

“If you really want to try to be in a spot to win the Big East regular season championship, if you’re going to be a championship-caliber team, you have to come into places like Pitt and find a way to get three points,” Wiese said. “And a lot of times it’s a different way than how we would like it to go.”

The victory sets the Blue and Gray up nicely for the stretch run. Three conference games remain on the regular season schedule, the first of which comes Saturday when the Hoyas – who have already qualified for the Big East tournament – host the Marquette Golden Eagles at North Kehoe Field.

But looming next week are matches against the two teams closest on Georgetown’s heels in the Blue Division, No. 5 Connecticut and Notre Dame, who trail the Hoyas by one and three points, respectively.

The Huskies and Fighting Irish meet in Storrs, Conn., on Friday night in a game that will determine much about what Georgetown must do over the next nine days to capture the division championship. Should Connecticut and Georgetown both prevail over the weekend, the Hoyas would enter Wednesday’s matchup with the Huskies at home with the chance to clinch first place and a bye to the Big East tournament quarterfinals.

“You’d love to have the UConn game be one that if you win at home on Wednesday, you’ve won the league,” Wiese said. “From an opportunity point of view, playing against one of the top teams in the country at your home venue for the Big East championship, that’d be a lot of fun.”

But there’s business to take care of in the meantime as a win on Saturday against Marquette is a prerequisite to Wiese’s dream scenario. Giving the match even more significance, Saturday is Senior Day for the head coach’s first recruiting class, which boasts 11 members.

“At the end of the day, I think our seniors appreciate that while it’s nice to be able to wave to the crowd and have them acknowledge you back, [Senior Day] is not a ceremony that we want to have detract from the job of beating Marquette,” Wiese said. “These guys are all business right now, so I don’t think they want to stop and smell the roses and get teary-eyed about everything. They want to play games and win games still.”

Wiese said that there will be a time after the end of the season to reflect on the four full years this group has spent with him and with each other. But right now, the next step in what’s shaping up to be perhaps the Hoyas’ most successful campaign in recent memory is beating the Golden Eagles tomorrow.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at North Kehoe Field.

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