Georgetown men’s soccer team battled for first place in the Big East Conference against the Seton Hall Pirates in South Orange, N.J. on March 20. Neither team was able to come out on top, and the game ended in a tie with a final score of 1-1.
No. 5 Georgetown (4-0-2, 4-0-2 Big East) ran into a hot Seton Hall (6-1-3, 4-1-2 Big East) team on a three-game win streak. Despite the Pirates’ winning streak, the defending national champion Hoyas were the heavy favorites because of their strong play so far this season. On March 3, Georgetown defeated Seton Hall 2-1 in overtime in their first conference match of the season.
Senior goalkeeper Ethan Koehler started for the Hoyas and delivered six saves on 14 shots — his season high. Koehler continuously disrupted the Pirates’ goal-scoring opportunities throughout the game, finishing with six saves.
Strong defense and a lack of offense marked the first half for both Georgetown and Seton Hall. The ball continually changed possession in the midfield, and the Hoyas struggled to break through the Pirates’ back line.
Seton Hall came close to breaking the game open early, but a diving save by Koehler spoiled forward CJ Tibbling’s shot toward the bottom left corner at the 8:04 minute mark. The Pirates only had one more shot on goal for the rest of the half.
The Hoyas’ performance in the first half left much to be desired on the offensive end. Georgetown failed to create many scoring opportunities and entered halftime without a single shot on goal.
The beginning of the second started with more offensive energy than the first, but both teams continued their struggles to find shots on goal. Until the 72nd minute, only two shots on goal were taken, both by Seton Hall.
During the 72nd minute, the Hoyas gifted the Pirates an opportunity to score. Misplays by the Georgetown defense allowed Seton Hall forward JP Marin an open shot with no one in the goal. To the dismay of the Pirates, Marin drove the ball too far to the right, hitting the side of the net instead of the back.
Not dwelling on what could have been a disastrous play, the Hoyas quickly turned around to create a scoring opportunity for themselves. At the 73:41 mark, first-year midfielder Kyle Linhares drove a hard shot toward the Pirates’ goal, but a save by Seton Hall kept the game tied momentarily. Georgetown senior forward Derek Dodson collected the rebound and scored on an open net while the Pirates’ goalkeeper Andreas Nota recovered from the previous save.
For a moment, it appeared Dodson’s goal would be the difference in the game. Georgetown was able to maintain its lead till the 80-minute mark, when a yellow card given to the Hoyas proved costly.
The penalty placed the Pirates right outside of the box, where they were able to run a set piece and sink the ball in the back of the goal. Seton Hall midfielder James Boote took the free kick and crossed the ball right where defender Eden O’Leary was waiting. The volley by O’Leary rocketed into the top of the net, giving Koehler little to no chance of saving it.
The rest of the second half and the two overtime periods were characterized by high offensive energy by both teams, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.
The Hoyas travel to Connecticut on March 24 for their first game of the season against their Big East rival, the University of Connecticut Huskies. The Huskies (1-3-1, 0-3-1 Big East) have been struggling throughout the 2021 season, and a win by Georgetown would all but ensure the Hoyas a spot in the Big East tournament.