Few college teams send more than half of their starting lineups to the professional ranks in one year, and even fewer are able to recover quickly from those losses. This past weekend, No. 10 Georgetown (0-2-0) proved no exception, dropping a pair of 1-0 decisions to the No. 2 Akron Zips (2-0) and the West Virginia Mountaineers (1-1) at the Akron Classic tournament.
Both deciding goals came in the final 10 minutes of the match. Akron earned its victory with just 36 seconds remaining in regulation, with senior defender Brad Ruhaak scoring after a series of deflections inside the Georgetown box. West Virginia scored in the 81st minute and held Georgetown without a shot for the remainder of the match.
The Georgetown offense struggled consistently to create chances in both matches. The two opponents outshot the Hoyas 33-9 over the course of the two games. In the latter match against West Virginia, the Hoya offense failed to test the Mountaineers’ goalkeeper a single time over the course of 90 minutes.
“We have a lot of retooling to do based on the weekend, and have to really examine how to maximize what we have because we’re not generating enough on offense,” Head Coach Brian Weise said in an interview with guhoyas.com.
The lack of attacking chemistry is hardly a surprise considering the turnover in the starting lineup from 2015. The Hoyas had to replace their entire backline and two most dangerous forwards after losing two juniors and four seniors to Major League Soccer following last season. Wiese has used 18 players over the course of the tournament as he seeks to find the right combinations of returning starters, new additions and veterans with little starting experience.
“Looking at the field, there were so many new faces be it freshmen or guys getting their first real minutes in there, and you have to remember that we went through this same thing not too long ago with the group that just graduated,” Wiese said to guhoyas.com.
Sophomore goalkeeper and co-captain JT Marcinkowski was one of the few bright spots for the Hoyas in the two defeats. The sophomore — who started for the U.S. U-20 national team this past summer and was named the Big East preseason goalkeeper of the year — kept his team in the game with several key saves in both matches. Overall, Marcinkowski made eight saves in the first match and six in the second, earning him a spot on the all-tournament team.
“JT gave a master class on goalkeeping today with some first-class saves,” Wiese said to guhoyas.com following the match against Akron.
After the two losses, Georgetown will look to rebound when the team returns to the Washington, D.C. area for its next two matches. Georgetown will face a difficult test Friday in its search for the first win of the season when the team travels to College Park, Md., to face No. 4 University of Maryland (1-0-0).
The Hoyas will play their home opener on Sep. 5 against Virginia Tech (2-0). The Hokies started off the season with a pair of wins at the Ohio State Tournament, including an upset win over No. 18 Ohio State (0-2-0). Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. at Shaw Field.