Matthew Sachs is a staff writer for The Hoya.
The Georgetown men’s soccer team drew 1-1 in double overtime on the road against University of Connecticut Saturday night, failing to gain enough scoring chances despite winning the possession battle.
“In a game like UConn, where you’re playing a team that’s going to put eight, nine, 10 guys behind the ball and attack the space, we have to be better about creating chances from that,” Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “I thought we dictated the game, which was nice. I didn’t think we would have as much of the ball as we did. But now it’s about what can we do with it.”
The Huskies (1-2-1, American) struck first in the 14th minute scoring in a 1-on-1 opportunity past Georgetown junior goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski. The goal marked the first time the Hoyas trailed in a game this season.
The Hoyas (4-0-1, Big East) continued to control the ball and ultimately responded with their own goal. After a takedown in the box, Georgetown was awarded a penalty kick, and senior captain midfielder Chris Lema beat the UConn keeper to tie the game at 1-1.
“[The goal] felt incredible, especially scoring away. It was my first away goal. So, it felt great and obviously it was great for the team’s momentum. The team worked hard to get there and not once did we put our heads down. We kept our heads up and kept fighting and found the P.K. and it was a great change of momentum,” Lema said.
The Hoyas, while working hard to gain possession, had to fight off some dangerous chances in the first half. Marcinkowski came up with three crucial saves to keep the game tied going into the second half.
“I just had to stay confident. After letting in that early goal, I just had to make sure I stayed focused and kept my head into the game. I was a little frustrated after the first goal because I felt I could have done a little better. So I just made sure to not let the team down and keep them in the game,” Marcinkowski said.
In the second half, the Hoyas controlled pace and managed three shots, but they could not convert. UConn matched the Georgetown’s pressure with two shots of their own.
Play moved on to the overtime periods, and in both periods, neither team managed more than one shot. Strong defense from both teams led to the eventual 1-1 final score.
Georgetown and UConn both had eight shots in the contest, and the Hoyas led in corner kicks 9-2. Georgetown has yet to give up more than one goal in a game this season.
“I think [our defensive success] has been about our confidence. We know that no team should put more than really a goal by us and we’re all capable in our abilities and can try to keep a shutout every game,” Marcinkowski said.
Up next for the Blue and Gray are the Xavier Musketeers (4-1-1, Big East), who beat the Hoyas 2-0 last year at Georgetown. Xavier has two returning All-Big East team members in Big East Preseason Player of the Year Cory Brown and 2016 Big East Second Team defender Matt Nance.
“Xavier is a really well-coached and organized team and at their place they are different than they are away from home. They have the defensive player of the year in Cory Brown,” Wiese said. “But they have players in each of their lines that give you problems. I think it’s going to be a fun, tight game and one team is going to take their chances a little bit better than the other.”
The Hoyas are seeking revenge against the Musketeers and try to gain momentum as the Big East season gets under way.
“We know that playing against Xavier is always a challenge. It’s like you’re locked in a box over there. They’re one of the best teams in the big east and we have to approach the game the right way with the right intensity,” Lema said. “With the way the team has been playing we should just keep with what we’re doing and we’ll get a good result.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Cincinnati. Live streaming of the game will be available on the Big East Digital Network.