The No. 3 Georgetown men’s soccer team avenged their only loss of the season and beat unseeded University of Louisville 5-1 on Dec. 1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
The Hoyas (17-1-3, 7-0-2 Big East) hosted the Cardinals (10-8-2, 3-4-1 ACC) in the rain at Shaw Field for the Round of 16 matchup Sunday afternoon.
Having been shutout by the Cardinals in their previous matchup, the Hoyas looked eager from the whistle to grab an early goal. In the second minute, the team’s leading goalscorer, junior midfielder Jacob Montes, helped the Blue and Gray grab the early lead.
Montes pressed high up the pitch and dispossessed Louisville defender Cody Cochran. Montes then took the ball and broke down the left wing toward the Cardinals’ goal. While Cochran recovered well, Montes cut to beat him inside before firing a shot into the far side of the goal to give the Hoyas an early 1-0 lead.
Following the goal, Louisville started to gain a foothold in the match and fired three shots at Georgetown’s net in just over ten minutes, all of which failed to find the frame. The Cardinals’ most promising chance to equalize came in the 13th minute as a set piece was played in from the right wing toward forward Pedro Fonseca, who flicked the ball on net. The Hoyas’ defenders blocked the shot to preserve their one-goal lead.
In the 26th minute, the Hoyas doubled their lead courtesy of junior forward Jack Beer. Once again the Hoyas pressed the Louisville backline and freshman midfielder Dante Polvara stole the ball just outside the Louisville box. Polvara slotted the ball to Montes who then played it square to Beer. After cutting onto his left foot, Beer fired a shot into the far corner to give the Hoyas a 2-0 lead.
However, the Cardinals soon cut the Hoyas’ lead to 2-1 following a goal from Fonseca. After being played in by a ball chipped over the Hoyas’ backline, Fonseca fired a shot on goal that beat sophomore goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis but hit off the post. Fonseca followed his shot and got to the rebound first, burying the ball into the back of the net in the 29th minute.
Despite three more shots — including one on goal — from the Blue and Gray in the remainder of the half, the teams headed to the locker room with Georgetown leading 2-1.
The Hoyas started the second half quickly and increased their lead to 3- when junior midfielder Paul Rothrock scored in the 50th minute. Sophomore midfielder Sean Zawadzki dispossessed a Cardinal near midfield and dribbled toward the box. Zawadski played a short pass to Polvara who then quickly played it to Rothrock as he made a run down the left wing. While Rothrock’s initial shot was blocked, the forward scored off the rebound to renew the Hoyas’ two-goal lead.
In the 58th minute, Nikopolidis made a save on a point-blank shot from Louisville midfielder Elijah Amo to preserve the Hoyas’ two-goal cushion.
Following that save, the Hoyas controlled the remainder of the second half with Montes and Rothrock both scoring their second goal of the day in the 82nd minute. First, Montes hit a free kick from just outside the box on the left side that beat Louisville goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch at his near post to give the Hoyas a 4-1 lead.
Off the ensuing kickoff, Georgetown quickly stole the ball from Louisville to make another drive toward goal. The Hoyas broke quickly and a flurry of passes led to Montes playing Rothrock down the left wing. Rothrock fired a shot on net and beat Gelnovatch on the ground at his near post for the Blue and Gray’s fifth goal of the day, just 21 seconds after Montes’ goal.
Georgetown closed out the game and emerged victorious 5-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. Montes led the attack for the Hoyas as he finished the game with two goals and two assists, propelling him past junior forward Derek Dodson as the team’s leading scorer with 10 goals this season. Rothrock’s two goals were his second and third of the year.
The Blue and Gray has been prolific on the attack and its 10 goals through two games are the most among any team in this year’s NCAA Tournament. The five goals scored in this game tie Georgetown’s record set for most goals scored in an NCAA Tournament in the program’s history. The team also tallied five goals in their previous match against the University of Pittsburgh. This also marks the Hoyas’ third trip to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament with their previous trip coming in 2014.
Georgetown will host No. 6 University of Washington at Shaw Field on Saturday, Dec. 7 at noon.