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 Take 8th Straight in Senior Day Win

Saturday afternoon at North Kehoe Field provided some quality theater for the 1,279 fans who witnessed the Georgetown men’s soccer team (10-4-1, 6-1 Big East) defeat the visiting Marquette Golden Eagles (5-6-4, 2-3-2 Big East) for its eighth straight win in a 6-2 Senior Day blowout.

“There was a lot of drama today,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said.

The wild day began disastrously for the Hoyas as a miscommunication between senior goalkeeper Matthew Brutto and his classmate, midfielder Rob Burnett, led to an own goal in the sixth minute.

“I’ve never seen a goal as softly gifted,” Wiese said afterwards.

But sophomore forward Andy Riemer erased Georgetown’s deficit in the 17th minute when he finished a cross from senior Seth C’deBaca into the left side netting.

“I feel the boys really bounced back quickly to get that goal, and [the own goal] really didn’t affect us,” Brutto said. “It shows that we’re really coming along as a team.”

The Blue and Gray kept constant pressure on the Marquette backline throughout the first half, maintaining possession across the midfield line and tallying a total of nine shots and nine corner kicks in the opening period.

It wasn’t until the 44th minute, however, that Georgetown was able to turn its possession into a lead. Knowing that the Golden Eagles would attempt to play an offside trap play, the Hoyas executed a perfectly planned set piece: Senior forward Chandler Diggs and sophomore midfielder Ian Christianson delayed their runs from deep to stay onside, resulting in a two-on-one opportunity against Marquette sophomore goalkeeper David Check. Diggs made the simple pass to Christianson for an easy finish and a 2-1 lead at halftime.

“We had a lot of guys who were offside, but the two guys who were engaged were pretty comfortably on at the end of it, and it worked to a T,” Wiese said of the designed play.

Marquette Head Coach Louis Bennett was ejected in the aftermath for leaving his bench to argue the call with the referee, insisting that the Hoyas had been offside. He was later found illegally addressing his squad at halftime and was subsequently escorted from the facilities.

The excitement was far from over at that point, though. The Golden Eagles kept the outcome of the game in doubt for a while, tying the score in the 56th minute on a 20-yard rocket from junior midfielder Amilcar Herrera that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line.

“[Herrera] got a wide-open look,” Brutto said. “It knuckled a little bit. I got a hand to it, and maybe another time I could have made the save.”

But again the Hoyas answered, this time in just 36 seconds. C’deBaca and Burnett worked the ball around in tight spaces on the right sideline, eventually freeing up enough room for C’deBaca to slide a ball across the box to Christianson for the midfielder’s second go-ahead goal of the day.

“I think the way we responded to the tough parts of that game was really good to see,” Wiese said.

Georgetown put home another two goals over the next nine minutes as freshman midfielder Steve Neumann and Diggs each put their names on the score sheet. Another nine minutes later, Diggs capped the goal scoring and a productive Senior Day in the 75th minute on a shot to the right corner from the left side of the 18-yard box.

“I just think we’re a little more cohesive this year,” Diggs said of a Hoya team that is averaging 2.20 goals per game, nearly a full goal more than last year’s 1.21 mark. “We’re on the same page offensively, and we’ve just gelled better than we have in the past.”

The home side’s big lead gave Wiese the luxury of playing every senior for at least part of Saturday’s victory. Late in the game, the Hoyas had 10 of their 11 seniors on the field at one time.

“The only thing we could have done is put Brutto in a field strip and put him out to play 11 guys,” Wiese said jokingly. “It was fun to give them a run as a senior class together.”

With the Senior Day win behind them and their longest winning streak since 1994 intact, the first-place Hoyas are in position to clinch the Big East Blue Division title on Wednesday at home against No. 5 Connecticut. A win against the Huskies would guarantee the Blue and Gray a bye to the Big East tournament quarterfinals.

“If you’re going to win the Big East, you’ve got to earn it,” Wiese said. “[The Huskies] are pretty frightening. They’re talented and as good as any team in the country.”

But the Hoyas have yet to lose or tie a conference game at home this season, and Wiese says he’s seen traits of a “championship-caliber team” in this year’s group.

Kickoff for Wednesday’s matchup with Connecticut is set for 2 p.m.

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