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’ NCAA Résumé Takes Another Hit

The Hoyas are going to have to do it the hard way now.

After a heartbreaking overtime defeat to Providence (8-6-3, 5-4-2 Big East) on senior day at North Kehoe Field, the men’s soccer team will likely need to win the Big East tournament in order to qualify for the NCAA tournament later this month. On Saturday, the Hoyas (9-8-1, 6-5 Big East) fell 2-1 to the Friars in their final regular season game of the year, closing out the month of October with losses in five of their last six matches.

“I can’t really put a word on it,” senior captain and defender Mark Zeman said. “I don’t know what happened. . I thought we outplayed them. It just hurts right now.”

After falling to American at home on Wednesday, the Hoyas undoubtedly wanted to take three points away from their final match before the conference tournament. Georgetown started the game well and almost scored the first goal in the seventh minute when freshman midfielder Andy Riemer smacked a half-volley off the crossbar.

After Riemer’s chance, however, the Hoyas entered what Head Coach Brian Wiese continues to refer to as the team’s “Bermuda Triangle” – the six-minute period of time between the 26th and 32nd minutes of play in which Georgetown has allowed a goal in six of its last eight games.

“It’s getting to the point of being very strange,” Wiese said after the match.

In the 26th minute, Providence junior midfielder Andrew Sousa added his name to a growing list of Georgetown opponents to find the stat sheet during that stretch. From about 30 yards away, Sousa found himself in open space and struck a magnificent shot past junior goalkeeper Mark Wilber and into the upper left-hand corner to give the Friars a 1-0 lead.

At the end of the first half, the score had not changed, but the Hoyas had outshot the visitors 7-3 and taken four corners while surrendering none.

“We started the game really well,” Wiese said. “We were pressing, we were making things happen. The only chance they get, [Sousa] hits a world-class finish.”

In the second stanza, the Hoyas did not wait long to find an equalizer. Six minutes into the half, junior forward Jose Colchao capitalized on a Zeman corner kick and poked a rolling ball from junior defender Alex Verdi by the Friars defense and over the goal line to tie the score. The corner kick came as a result of a brilliant run by junior midfielder Seth C’deBaca, who blew by his man on the right sideline and whipped a cross into the box that was headed out of bounds by a Providence defender.

Just two minutes later in the 53rd, it seemed certain that the Hoyas would have a chance to take their first lead of the match. As he turned while receiving a pass just inside the box, Colchao was clipped and fouled. The referee blew his whistle but refused to call a penalty kick for Georgetown, instead placing the ball on top of the 18-yard line.

“The ref may have missed that one,” Zeman said. “But that’s how it goes.”

The Hoyas were unable to convert on the free kick, and things quickly took a turn for the worse. In the 57th minute, junior midfielder Ibu Otegbeye was ejected for a sliding tackle near the right sideline. The red card surprised players, coaches and fans alike, but Georgetown was forced to play the remainder of the match with only 10 players. Surprisingly, the Blue and Gray went on to play some of their best soccer of the day after Otegbeye’s ejection.

“I think we stepped it up a notch,” Zeman said about playing shorthanded. “I didn’t even notice we were a man down. I thought we responded very well to it.”

Regardless of the Hoyas’ resiliency, playing with fewer men than the other side takes its toll on a team after 36 minutes. The game went to overtime tied at one, and the Friars took advantage of their second real scoring chance of the afternoon in the 93rd minute when senior forward Timothy Ritter slotted a header past Wilber on a cross from Sousa, silencing the crowd and giving Providence a 2-1 victory.

“My heart’s broken for the seniors,” Wiese said afterward.

ark Zeman, defender Len Coleman and midfielder Scott Larrabee all played their last regular season games as Hoyas on Saturday.

Now, Georgetown must forget about its lackluster October finish and start fresh in the Big East tournament. DePaul visits North Kehoe on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the opening round.

“I think the path’s pretty clear for us now,” Wiese said. “I think the boys know it’s one-and-done for us.”

For one, Colchao knows it.

“We have to win,” he said. “We feel like we have the opportunity to do it, but we’re not scoring goals and that’s hurting us.”

Despite the team’s recent struggles, if anyone is confident of the Hoyas’ ability to win the tournament, it’s Wiese.

“They’re doing everything we’re asking them to do, and they’re doing it right,” he said. “You just have to roll up your sleeves and try it again the next time. . This is the best team I’ve had since I’ve been here at Georgetown, and if there’s a team that can do this kind of a run, this is the group of guys that can do it.”

One bonus for the Hoyas heading into Wednesday is the return of freshman midfielder Ian Christianson, who played his first minutes in the team’s loss since going down with a knee sprain against Seton Hall on Oct. 7.

“I’m a little bit out of shape yet,” Christianson said after the game. “But I miss being out on the field, so it felt great.”

Before Christianson’s injury, the Hoyas were 7-3-1; since, they are 2-5.

“[Christianson] is going to make a big difference for us,” Wiese said. “We haven’t been the same team since he’s been out. Getting him back is going to be a boost for us.”

Wiese is hopeful that the return of his center midfielder – and maybe some newfound good luck – can propel the Hoyas to a conference tournament championship and an extended postseason.

“I’d like to see some karma come back around and serve us right,” he said.”

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