For the fourth year in a row, the Georgetown men’s soccer team (16-2-2, 9-0 Big East) has advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament. An early goal by sophomore midfielder Arun Basuljevic and a record-breaking penalty kick by senior forward Brandon Allen led the way for No. 3 Georgetown in a 3-0 win over Hofstra (14-8, 6-2 Colonial Athletic Conference).
The Hoyas started the game with a bang, scoring just over four minutes into the contest. Junior midfielder Bakie Goodman made a run into the left side of the box, where he received a clever chipped pass from junior forward Alex Muyl. Goodman drew a defender and then laid the ball off to his right to a charging Basuljevic, who took the shot and found the bottom right corner of the net.
“We knew they were going to be man-marking us. … So I knew that once the ball went further past me that I had to be good making my runs. I made a run when the ball came to Bakie and luckily he found me,” Basuljevic said.i
The match took on a different character after the goal. It became slow and choppy, but Georgetown did manage a number of clear chances. Goodman and Basuljevic combined again in the 18th minute, this time hitting the post and the keeper from close range just seconds apart. Senior defender and co-captain Cole Seiler had a free header in front of the goal that he was unable to put on target. Junior defender and co-captain Joshua Yaro had a curled shot to the far post saved by the leaping Hofstra goalkeeper.
The Hoyas entered the half with a 1-0 lead that could have easily been 3-0. The trend of missed chances seemed destined to continue in the second half, when Allen hit the post with a close-range volley on an open net and senior midfielder/defender and co-captain Keegan Rosenberry’s one-on-one shot was saved.
“We did kind of make it a little harder on ourselves than we needed to,” Basuljevic said. “No win comes easy. We would like to have some of those chances back, but we’re just happy to move on to the next round.”
The opportunities that Georgetown had not taken advantage of suddenly became old news in the 79th minute. A Hofstra player tackled Basuljevic with his spikes up, and Basuljevic stood up to confront him. The player dove to the ground, clutching his face in an attempt to draw a red card on Basuljevic. The incident only escalated from there, resulting in a yellow card for Basuljevic and a red card for Hofstra sophomore midfielder Nino Alfonso.
“It’s an emotional game. Someone’s season ends today, whether it’s ours or Hofstra,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “That’s all part and parcel with making a deep run in the NCAA tournament, keeping a cool head through some tough times.”
Playing against a shorthanded opponent allowed Georgetown to finally take control of the match. In the 86th minute, senior forward Melvin Snoh earned a penalty kick. Allen converted the opportunity for his 50th career goal, making him the leading goal scorer in program history.
Georgetown’s final goal came in the final seconds of the match amid great confusion. Hofstra had made one final push to score a consolation goal, but Yaro stopped the charge and passed the ball upfield to Muyl with less than 10 seconds remaining. Nearly every player, along with the coaches and fans, had counted the match as over.
Instead of starting to celebrate, like some of his teammates, Muyl took one last shot on goal from around midfield. Incredibly, the shot found its way under the crossbar with just one second left on the clock, ending the match with a 3-0 score line in favor of the Hoyas.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty at times. But it’s another testament to our group to get a win like that,” Basuljevic said.
Georgetown will move on to face Boston College (11-7-1, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the round of 16. The Golden Eagles’ record may not seem impressive, but they had to navigate a historically strong and deep ACC that placed four teams in the top six seeds of the tournament. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Shaw Field.