The Georgetown men’s soccer team (1-5) lost 0-1 Tuesday night to William and Mary (5-1) in Williamsburg, Va. This was the Blue and Gray’s final nonconference game before entering Big East play.
The team will travel to Rhode Island on Saturday to take on the Providence Friars (4-2) in its Big East opener.
Following the team’s first win of the season against the University of Connecticut, a 1-0 win, the Hoyas hoped to carry the momentum from their victory into their final nonconference game against the Tribe. However, things did not go their way in a gritty affair.
The match started with both teams trying to find their footing in the match. Possession was even, and neither team created any big chances. That changed in the 19th minute of play when junior midfielder Matt Ledder took the first shot of the game for the Blue and Gray. Ledder fired a header in the box that went just wide of the net. The match was still scoreless, but the Georgetown offense — which has been mostly stagnant all season — showed some life.
But that momentum was quickly zapped away in the 22nd minute when the Tribe scored an incredible goal. The Tribe’s junior forward/midfielder William Eskay fired a shot from approximately 30 to 35 yards outside of the box, which caught sophomore goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski off guard.
“It was a very opportunistic play. … He caught it really well, and I think that the problem was he probably shouldn’t have shot it. There was probably other options that he should’ve done. And I think that was almost why it went in because I don’t think that J.T. was expecting it. I think it caught J.T. a bit by surprise, but, having said that, it was still a great hit,” Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese said.
The rest of the half continued uneventfully with the Hoyas providing no effective response. However, the second half was a different story, marked by plenty of yellow cards and scoring opportunities for both sides.
The intensity of the match escalated significantly. The Hoyas’ play was a bit riskier, with the team taking more chances by pushing players forward. Wiese made some changes, substituting fresh legs into the match hoping to spark the offense. And the changes did indeed result in some chances. Georgetown took nine total shots in the second half alone.
With about 20 minutes left to play, both teams received three total yellow cards within four minutes, before the Hoyas’ offense looked poised to tie the game. Senior midfielder and co-captain Bakie Goodman inspired the offense with two key chances with about 10 minutes remaining before Georgetown’s final key efforts in the match.
In the last five minutes of the match the Blue and Gray had two dangerous chances taken by junior midfielder Arun Basuljevic and junior forward Zach Knudson, but both failed to capitalize.
“In the second half I thought they showed a lot of spirit, and as a result we looked like we always were going to score, but we just ran out of time in that game,” Wiese said.
Georgetown dropped to 1-5 on the season and was shut out for the fourth time this season. The team has scored two goals in six matches thus far.
Despite their lowly nonconference results, the Hoyas can perhaps have a fresh start when they start conference play this weekend against the Friars.
Providence has had a successful season to this point. It has shut out its opponents in each of its last three games. Providence’s freshman midfielder Danny Griffin has played particularly well. Griffin, last week’s Big East Freshman of the Week, tallied two game-winning goals in each of his last two games. Georgetown appears ready to stop the young phenomenon though, as the defense has allowed just seven goals in six matches.
“They’re a blue-collar, very tough team and they’re always one of our toughest matchups in the league, every year,” Coach Wiese said. “This won’t be any different.”
Georgetown’s matchup with Providence is Saturday at 7 p.m. in Providence, R.I.