The Georgetown men’s soccer team split its matches this week, suffering a tough 1-0 loss to West Virginia over the weekend before defeating Seton Hall, 3-1, on Wednesday. The No. 20 Hoyas improved to 8-2-3 on the season and 3-1-0 in conference play.
Saturday’s loss to West Virginia was their first since August. The game snapped Georgetown’s 10-game unbeaten streak and marked the team’s first defeat on the road.
“The West Virginia game ended an unbeaten streak, but for us it was like, ‘Now we have an opportunity to start another one,'” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “We’ve got a group of guys that have that mentality of, ‘We can do 11.'”
The two teams were scoreless for most of the game before junior midfielder Uwem Etuk capitalized on a rebound in the 82nd minute to give the Mountaineers (7-4-1, 3-1 Big East) the lead. Georgetown was unable to fire back, and West Virginia took the 1-0 victory.
“West Virginia is always a tough place to play. They’re historically very good at home and they’re very athletic and very organized,” Wiese said. “They’re a top 20 team, so you have to be very good when you’re in that environment. It was just one of those nights that didn’t quite happen.”
The Mountaineers outshot the Hoyas 17-12 and took 12 corners to Georgetown’s six. Both keepers managed two saves in the net while junior goalkeeper Justin Holmes earned the victory for West Virginia.
The Hoyas were able to rebound quickly, however, for Wednesday’s game against Seton Hall. Junior midfielder Andy Riemer scored two goals to lead his team to a 3-1 victory.
“I thought the guys’ mentality was really good against Seton Hall,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “They came out with a real focus because they knew it was an important three points to get on the road in the Big East. They understand that no matter who you play you have to be good.”
The Pirates (4-7-2, 0-4 Big East) came out strong Wednesday night, scoring the first goal of the game just nine minutes into play. A cross from freshman midfielder Damian Bziukiewicz found the feet of classmate and defender Jason Wellington, who fired a shot past Hoya freshman goalkeeper Tomas Gomez from 8 yards out to give Seton Hall the early lead.
“The interesting thing against Seton Hall was that we lost a goal 10minutes in. What was good to see was that the guys responded really well,” Wiese said. “Nothing changed and they didn’t go into panic mode. They just kept pressing. We had a lot of near misses, and with that normally a lot of teams get at each other and get really frustrated. But even though we were down a goal, we kept firing away.”
Seton Hall was unable to keep up for the remainder of the game, as Georgetown went on to score three unanswered goals. The Hoyas found the equalizer in the 25th minute, when Riemer tallied his first goal of the game on a pass from freshman defender Tyler Rudy. Rudy managed to get behind the Pirate defense before sending the ball into Riemer, whose low shot hit the left corner of the net to tie the game at one.
In the 53rd minute, a cross attempt by the Hoyas was blocked by freshman goalkeeper Mario DeClerico, but the ball landed right at the feet of sophomore midfielder Steve Neumann. The Hoyas’ top scorer knocked it in from point-blank range to put the Hoyas up, 2-1. The go-ahead goal was his seventh of the season.
Neumann continued to put pressure on the Seton Hall defense, scooping up a failed clearing attempt by the Pirates in the 65th minute. After making his way into the box, he sent the ball to Riemer, who then tallied his second and final goal of the match.
Georgetown displayed its offensive skills once again, outshooting Seton Hall, 19-13. The Hoyas had seven shots on goal to the Pirates’ five. Georgetown’s defense contributed to the win as well, with Gomez managing four saves in net for his eighth win of the season.
“One of the things people might not appreciate is how good our back four was in that game,” Wiese said. “When we turned the ball over it was very tricky for them deal with transition, but they did it really well. We didn’t get a shut out, but their performance allowed us to create the number of chances we did.”
The Hoyas will face off against No. 12 Notre Dame on Saturday in their fifth Big East contest of the season. Despite the broken unbeaten streak, Wiese and his squad feel good about their chances in the Big East race.
“We have five games left. We’re 3-1 in the league, and of the four games we’ve played three were on the road. I think anybody in the league would be happy to have that as a starting spot,” Wiese said. “We’ve done a pretty good job handling some of these road games early, so now it’s a question of how we’re going to handle our home games down the stretch and can we get the points that we need.”
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on North Kehoe Field.