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

Bulls Bounce Hoyas from Big East Tourney

History repeated itself last Sunday as the Hoyas’ Big East journey was cut short for the second year in a row in Tampa, Fla., by the University of South Florida.

Last year, the Bulls stampeded over the Hoyas, subjecting them to a 4-0 first-round exit. This season, the Hoyas lost in the quarterfinals by the margin of a single goal – the game ended with the scoreline reading 2-1 in favor of the home team.

“It was a hard Big East game in the postseason,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “They are one of the hardest teams to beat at their home field; they very rarely lose on that field.”

The Bulls’ home field advantage led them to dominate play from the opening minutes of the game. The hosts made the first mark on the scoreboard with just 2:57 on the clock – junior forward Zak Boggs fed in a short cross to senior forward Jordan Seabrook at the top of the box, and Seabrook slid it in past the Hoyas’ redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mark Wilber to get the early lead.

The Hoyas regrouped after conceding the goal, and Wiese praised his team’s response to the situation. He said that the team maintained their discipline and composure to put the team back in the game.

Wilber redeemed himself as the first half progressed, making a pair of saves in the 14th and 24th minutes to keep the Bulls at bay. On the opposite end of the pitch, the Bulls locked down the defense and thwarted the Hoyas’ attempts to equalize. The Blue and Gray were only able to take four shots on goal – none of which were on target – while the Bulls ended the first period with six shots of their own, with three on goal.

“At halftime, everyone was confident,” Wiese said. “There wasn’t anybody in the squad that thought we weren’t going to win the game. . You look across the eyes of all the guys and everyone seems very determined and confident.”

Play restarted after halftime, and the Hoyas were dealt another early blow by the Bulls’ Seabrook – just a minute and a half into the second period, the senior snatched a misdirected pass from under the noses of the Hoya backline, shooting it unmarked into the back of Wilber’s net for the home team’s second of the game.

“It was a very bad give-away,” Wiese said. “We sent one of the fastest goal-scorers in the country for the second breakaway of the game.” The coach went on to say that the team’s response to being down by two goals showed a great deal of character and determination.

The Hoyas attempted a quick counterattack and in the 49th minute, junior midfielder Scott Larrabee put the first shot on goal for the team, which was saved by the Bulls’ keeper.

After a period of pressure from the Bulls in the Hoyas’ defensive half – the home team took three shots in the span of two minutes, two of which were saved by Wilber, one of which sailed wide – the Hoyas finally broke through the Bulls’ defensive ranks to put a score up on the board.

Substitute freshman midfielder David Madison had been on the pitch for just four minutes when a shot taken by junior defender Mark Zeman hit the post. The rebound fell to Madison’s feet, and he shot it in the back of the net to put the score at 2-1.

The goal rejuvenated the Hoya offense, and shots came in from senior forward Peter Grasso and sophomore defenders Mostafa Ebrahimnejad and Alex Verdi, none of which made it past the keeper.

An equalizer eluded the Blue and Gray for the remainder of play, and at the final whistle, the home team emerged victorious over the Hoyas yet again.

“I thought we performed pretty well,” Wiese said. “I was very proud of the guys given the circumstances. We just gave up two goals right off the bat in each half, and that makes things really hard. . In soccer, a five-second lapse can cost you the game, so you’ve got to do it for the whole 90 minutes, not just 89 minutes and 55 seconds – that’s what happened in that game.”

The end of those 90 minutes in Florida was not necessarily the end of the Hoyas’ season – the team has six days to regroup before Nov. 17, when the NCAA tournament field will be announced.

“We’ll be anxious for all of this week,” Wiese said. “I think we have done enough to get in, but unfortunately, I’m not on the committee.”

The Hoyas have not been a part of the national tournament since 1998, and an entry into the NCAA would mark a significant achievement not just for the team but also for the coach and his staff.

The selection bid will be televised on ESPNEWS at 5:30 p.m. this Monday.

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