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

Skid Continues After GU Falls to Ivy League Foes

Another weekend brought another pair of disappointing results for the Georgetown men’s soccer team (2-3-1) as the Hoyas tied the Princeton Tigers (1-3-1) on the road on Friday and lost to the University of Pennsylvania Quakers (5-1) at home on Sunday.


Including two 3-1 losses to New Mexico and Denver last weekend, the Hoyas are 0-3-1 in their last four games since knocking off Northeastern and No. 19 Michigan State at North Kehoe Field on opening weekend.










The Hoyas put eight shots on goal to the Tigers’ two, but a draw was all the Blue and Gray could muster from their trip to central New Jersey.




Princeton, a third-place finisher in last year’s Ivy League standings and qualifier for the 2009 NCAA tournament, came out firing and put senior goalkeeper Matthew Brutto under heavy pressure in the early going. After a number of frightening loose-ball chances in the box, the Tigers broke through in the 27th minute when sophomore forward Matt Sanner’s lazy shot from the right side wasn’t cleared cleanly; a Georgetown defender was in position to send the ball downfield but whiffed and allowed sophomore midfielder Lester Nare to drill the ball past Brutto into the top-left corner of the net.




Trailing at the start of the second half, the Hoyas finally capitalized on one of their chances in the 56th minute when senior midfielder Seth C’deBaca laced a ball from senior forward Chandler Diggs into the left-side netting to equalize. Georgetown stymied the Princeton attack from then on, but the visitors couldn’t finish any of their other opportunities.




Tied at the end of regulation, the sides played two full periods of uneventful overtime and settled for a 1-1 scoreline.










Itching to end their Ivy League weekend on a high note, the Hoyas jumped on the Quakers from the first whistle.


In a preview of things to come, sophomore defender Tommy Muller nearly gave the Blue and Gray a 1-0 advantage in the second minute when his header off of a lofted free kick from Diggs just cleared the crossbar.




But Muller had a second chance to score in the 10th minute and came through with a brilliant glancing header at the near post on a corner kick. The sophomore raced to the corner of the six-yard box and put his head on a driven cross from C’deBaca, sneaking the ball past Penn senior goalkeeper Ben Berg.




“I thought there was really only one team on the field, and that was us,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said of the first half. “We were creating chances, we executed things well.”




But the momentum shifted after halftime due in part to the presence of Penn freshman forward and leading goal scorer Stephen Baker, who subbed into the match late in the first half and had a hand in each of Penn’s three second-half goals.




“He’s got pace,” Wiese said of the young Quaker. “He’s going to be a handful in [the Ivy League]. No question.”




In the 52nd minute, Baker nutmegged Georgetown senior defender Alex Verdi and took the ball into the 18-yard box from the left side. His shot to the far post was saved by Brutto, but the rebound fell to Penn sophomore midfielder Travis Cantrell whose easy put-back tied the score at one.




“I think the disappointment for us is that one goal should have been enough [to win],” Wiese said. “We have to tidy up some things in the back. Our back four just has to be better.”




The Blue and Gray can attribute their three losses this season to a disturbing penchant to allow multiple goals over two- and three-minute spans. As it had done in games against New Mexico and Denver, the Georgetown defense allowed Penn a quick goal after Cantrell’s equalizer when Baker put the cherry on top of a seamless combination play in the 55th minute with a right-footed shot to the corner.




“We came out flat, and they came out flying,” Verdi said of the second half. “We didn’t really respond the way we should have, and then, just like that, they scored two goals pretty quickly on us.”




Asked about the cause of the Hoyas’ troubles in dealing with the first few minutes after concession of a goal, Wiese pointed to a lack of leadership on the field.




“John Thompson III can call a timeout [to break up] a 10-0 run,” he said. “You can’t do that in soccer. . There are 11 guys on the field, and how you respond is up to you [as a player].”




Georgetown settled down and put some promising play together after Baker’s go-ahead goal, but in the 83rd minute the freshman sensation found himself one-on-one with Brutto on a breakaway and dribbled by the charging keeper to setup an empty-net finish from the left side. The goal sealed the win for the visitors and Georgetown alumnus Rudy Fuller (MSB ’93), Penn’s current head coach and a former member of the Georgetown men’s soccer team.




“To give Penn credit, they took care of business,” Wiese said. “They took their chances.”




In the wake of Baker’s whirlwind of a second half, Wiese rued a missed opportunity to bring the Quakers’ standout forward to the Hilltop with his 2010 recruiting class.




“He’s great. He’s a little freshman that we really liked, and he really liked Georgetown. Admissions wasn’t so sure, so he’s at Penn. So that’s frustrating,” Wiese said. “We knew about Stephen. We knew him well, and we wanted him here.”




But on Sunday, Baker’s goals counted for the opposition and left the Hoyas looking for answers.

“I think we have to make sure that we don’t get comfortable with losing,” Wiese said. “I think there’s a soft spot that we have to address in our defense. . We’re going to have to go back to the drawing board.”




Senior defender Ben Slingerland could be called upon to play more minutes at Cincinnati in the team’s conference opener on Saturday as Wiese tries to find a winning formula at the back.




“He’s going to be responsible, and he’s not going to let us down,” the head coach said of Slingerland. “His tail’s always wagging, he’s always into the team, and he’s always doing everything right. If we had 26 Slings, we’d be doing all right right now.”




Georgetown will be without senior defender Ibu Otegbeye against Cincinnati after he was issued a red card for a last-man tackle in the 84th minute of Sunday’s loss.




Saturday’s kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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