In its final two regular season games, the No. 3 Georgetown men’s soccer team clinched the Big East regular season title by beating Villanova 2-0 on the road Nov. 2 and drawing Creighton 1-1 on Nov. 6.
On Saturday, Nov. 2, the Georgetown Hoyas (14-1-2, 7-0-2 Big East) traveled to Philadelphia to take on the struggling Villanova Wildcats (9-8-1, 2-6-1 Big East).
Despite coming into the game in last place within the Big East, the Wildcats started strong with a few decent opportunities on goal. In the sixth minute, an effort from Villanova midfielder Evan Vare after a quick give-and-go forced freshman goalkeeper Tomas Romero into a diving save. Vare had another opportunity early on after another give-and-go, but his shot went just wide of the post.
The first shot on net for the Hoyas came in the 14th minute when graduate midfielder Ethan Lochner had his shot on target stopped by Villanova goalkeeper Carson Williams. Minutes later, junior midfielder Jacob Montes had his effort denied by Williams as well. Georgetown finally broke the deadlock in the 27th minute after sophomore midfielder Sean Zawadzki was taken down in the box, which resulted in a scoring penalty kick. Junior forward Derek Dodson stepped up to the spot and scored his seventh goal of the season.
From that goal, Georgetown began to dominate possession even more so than before as it searched for a second goal. Williams made several key saves, though, that kept the Wildcats in the match.
In the 29th minute, Dodson had a good opportunity to score his second goal when Williams misjudged a ball in the box, resulting in the ball being sent over to Dodson. Williams recovered, however, and made a diving save on the goal line to prevent the Hoyas from scoring again.
The Hoyas had a flurry of opportunities on target toward the end of the half. Both shots were once again saved by Williams, and the Hoyas went to half leading 1-0.
Villanova started the second half strong, like the first, and forced Romero to make a few key saves to preserve Georgetown’s lead. After sustaining over 20 minutes of pressure from the Wildcats to start the half, the Hoyas finally found their insurance goal, courtesy of Montes.
From the top of the box, Dodson played the ball to Montes, who played a short ball directly to senior forward Achara about 6 yards out from goal. Achara hit a one-time effort that was cleared away from the line. However, the rebound bounced straight to Montes who buried the chance for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
Georgetown would not relinquish the lead, and the game ended 2-0 with Romero earning the shutout in net after making four big saves.
Georgetown then returned home to face the Creighton Bluejays (8-6-2, 4-4-1 Big East) on Wednesday, only needing a draw to clinch the Big East regular season championship.
Sophomore goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis got the start in net for the Hoyas. Throughout the first half, Georgetown controlled possession in limiting Creighton to only two shots, one in the 17th minute and one in the 19th minute.
On the other end of the pitch, the Hoyas continued to pepper the Bluejays’ net with shots, forcing Creighton goalkeeper Paul Kruse to make some big saves. Kruse denied the Hoyas twice in the first 10 minutes when he saved one shot from senior midfielder Dylan Nealis and another shot from junior midfielder Chris Le.
In the 26th minute, Georgetown broke the deadlock after a corner kick. Montes played the corner kick toward the back post, where he found junior defender Sean O’Hearn making a run. O’Hearn headed the ball back across the face of goal to Achara, who completed an easy finish that earned the Hoyas a 1-0 lead.
Although the Hoyas had repeated opportunities to add to their lead through the remainder of the half, they were unable to capitalize, with Kruse making a save late in the half to deny sophomore forward Zach Riviere a strong chance on net. The game went to half with Georgetown holding a 1-0 lead.
After the break, in the 55th minute, freshman defender Daniel Wu’s header off a corner was cleared off the goal line by a Creighton defender. Despite being outshot by Georgetown throughout the early portion of the second half, Creighton grabbed an equalizer against the run of play.
In the 61st minute, Nikopolidis was called into action and made his third save of the game on a Creighton attacker who was in on net. However, the rebound bounced directly to Creighton midfielder Yudai Tashiro, who placed his diving header into the open net tying the game.
Despite having another seven shots following the equalizer, the Hoyas were unable to grab a second goal, and the game went to overtime. Throughout both overtime periods, the Hoyas had a number of efforts on goal but were once again denied by Kruse, who finished the match with nine saves.
The draw was enough, however, for Georgetown to clinch the 2019 Big East regular season championship after the lead the Hoyas had built atop the conference table..
Georgetown outshot Creighton 27-11 and had 19 corners to Creighton’s two. Additionally, Nikopolidis made four saves in net for the Hoyas.
The Hoyas will enter the Big East tournament as the top seed and will host the semifinal match on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. on Shaw Field.