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

Georgetown Finishes Weekend Against Ranked Foes With Win

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Junior forward Jose Colchao (11) celebrates with junior midfielder Seth C’deBaca after the Hoyas upset No. 19 UCLA on Sunday. Colchao put Georgetown out in front with his first goal of the season.

Last weekend saw the Hoyas split their California doubleheader, falling 2-0 against No. 8 California on Friday, but prevailing in a 2-0 upset of No. 19 UCLA on Sunday.

Friday afternoon marked the Blue and Gray’s first home game, and the home team made things very difficult for the Golden Bears. The difference between the two teams, however, came down to the ability to finish on scoring opportunities.

The Cal defenders were challenged early on in the game, but somehow, the Hoyas were unable to convert on their scoring chances. Senior midfielder Scott Larrabee managed to skip past the back four just over eight minutes into the game and put a shot on goal, only to be thwarted by Cal sophomore keeper David Bingham. Bingham came to Cal’s rescue again in the 16th minute, when he blocked junior midfielder Seth C’deBaca’s effort.

A quick counterattack put the Golden Bears on the scoreboard less than two minutes later, when junior forward Andrew Wiedeman cut through the Hoya back four and booted the ball into the back of the net.

The Hoyas recovered quickly enough and continued testing the Cal back four, which proved to be a very difficult task. A few flashes of brilliance by the Hoya attack wowed the crowds, but no amount of step-overs or give-and-gos could get the home team on the scoreboard.

Just four minutes into the second half, an unlucky deflection turned into Cal’s second goal, sealing the Hoyas’ fate. The Blue and Gray fought on and created a few more chances thanks to freshman midfielder Ian Christianson and a pair of chances from C’deBaca – but to no avail.

On the opposite end of the pitch, the Hoyas back four guarded their goal aggressively and were not afraid to make rough tackles. One flying challenge by junior Ibu Otegbeye in the 55th minute fired both teams up and nearly resulted in a fight, and Cal’s redshirt senior midfielder Jacob Wilson had to be held back by his teammates. Senior Hoya defender Len Coleman came to his teammate’s side, and in the end the referee booked him along with Otegbeye and Wilson for a yellow card.

“I kind of felt like we needed some intensity and I took a chance with the tackle,” Otegbeye said of the incident.

There was a definite bite to both sides’ play for the remainder of the match, but the end of 90 minutes still saw the Hoyas end their first home game in a scoreless defeat.

“I thought we played very well,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said after the game. “I thought we had a lot of the game, and we’re still finding our rhythm. . We’ve had a lot of games like this in the past where we’re playing well and maybe we should have won it. But `should have’ is not `did,’ and that’s what we need to change.”

With just a day’s rest, the Blue and Gray were back at North Kehoe Field on Sunday for their second home game, this time against UCLA.

Both teams locked horns for the majority of the first half, with both defensive lines holding up stubbornly. In particular, the center-back pair of Coleman and junior Alex Verdi kept the Bruins out of the picture.

The Hoya forwards weren’t allowed too close to the goal, and the holding midfielders had to chance longer shots at the target; Christianson and junior Rob Burnett both shot wide of the mark.

The first half ended scoreless, but that did not slow down either team from coming back for the final period. Both UCLA and Georgetown got early looks at the goal, but both keepers rose to the occasion and kept the scoreboard clean.

The Hoyas had their first breakthrough of the game in the 60th minute – they earned a free kick in their own half of the field and senior defender Mark Zeman floated it in all the way to the top of the box and found Verdi. The defender headed the ball over to junior forward Jose Colchao, who lost no time in heading it into the back of the net.

“It was like Christmas morning,” Colchao said. “I just needed to get the ball in the goal.”

UCLA responded with ferocity, but could not get behind the back-four. Redshirt sophomore keeper Mark Wilber was unyielding between the posts, plucking stray corners out of the air and making a particularly calm save off a close chance in the 76th minute.

eanwhile, the Hoya offense pressed on, and their efforts bore fruit when C’deBaca earned a penalty in the 82nd minute. C’deBaca’s shot ricocheted off the right post into the goal for the Hoyas’ second tally.

“I hit the penalty and saw it go to the post, which scared me a little bit,” C’deBaca said, “but I saw it go in and I was relieved to get it.”

The goal proved to be a nail in UCLA’s coffin, and despite its last ditch efforts – which saw the game concentrated in the Hoyas’ defensive half of the field for the remainder of the match – the Hoyas defended tenaciously, and the game ended without the Hoyas surrendering a goal.

“It was about time,” Wiese said of their victory at the end of the game. “I’m very, very happy for the boys. … Finding a way to win the game is what has been the missing piece for a very long time.”

Wiese further commented on the attack finally finishing.

“There has been a lot of pressure on the forwards to get goals,” he said. “Jose [Colchao] has been putting a lot of pressure on himself to get goals, and hopefully this will free him to score more.”

The defense was not to be forgotten either.

“I thought our two center-backs were immense today,” Wiese said. “Alex Verdi and Lenny Coleman were difference-makers at a different level.”

Wiese, as well as C’deBaca, commented on how important the home crowd was to the team’s success that day. Thanks to a record crowd of almost 1,900 cheering the Hoyas on, the win will stick with C’deBaca for a long time.

“That was probably the most memorable game I’ve ever had here,” he said.

Although the Hoyas will not have that same home-field advantage when they travel to Davidson College for today’s showdown with Coastal Carolina and to UNC-Asheville on Sunday, they will hope to play with the same level of intensity that won them their first game.

“We need to maintain that energy to win more games,” Colchao said, “and if we’re finishing at the end, that’s the biggest thing for us.”

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