Coming off a strong victory at home, the nationally ranked Georgetown Hoyas (9-2-1, 5-1-0 Big East) had every intention of extending their six-game win streak as they took on the Providence Friars (6-4-3, 3-1-2 Big East) Saturday night in Rhode Island.
Though the Hoyas had plenty of momentum going into the match, the Friars proved a worthy opponent. When all was said and done, Providence handed Georgetown its first conference loss of the season in a hard-fought, 1-0 defensive battle.
Looking to set the tone, Georgetown took control early. The Hoyas dominated time of possession for the first five minutes of the match with two shots on goal. Despite Georgetown’s excellent ball control, Providence’s defense held firm.
Having fended off a potent Georgetown offense through the first ten, Providence sought to put the Hoyas on the defensive. The Friars managed a shot, albeit an off-target one, before giving possession back to Georgetown. Georgetown responded with an impressive offensive series in the 13th minute, though their efforts ultimately proved fruitless. The Hoyas took two shots but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Georgetown’s failure to capitalize energized Providence, shifting the momentum toward the Friars. The Friar attack managed to generate another four shots, though all but one flew wide of the net. Near the 19th minute, Georgetown’s senior keeper Ryan Schewe blocked the Friar’s sole accurate shot of the half.
Due in large part to the efforts of Georgetown’s senior keeper Ryan Schewe, the stout Hoya defense kept the score even. Having held up the Friar attack, the Hoyas set their sights downfield. Despite managing a few more shots on goal, Georgetown couldn’t get the ball past Providence keeper Lukas Burns.
Still in search of an opening goal, Georgetown earned two corner kicks in quick succession. Yet again, the Hoyas failed to capitalize, and with the first half clock winding down, it appeared neither side held an advantage in this defensive showdown.
Providence came out swinging in the second half, taking control and dominating time of possession. Georgetown’s defense held yet again, and bolstered by fresh substitutes, the Hoyas eventually found a way to wrestle possession from the Friars. Hoya strikers proceeded to show off their speed in a series of quick offensive attacks, though all fell short of the scoreboard.
Still searching for a goal, Providence took their attack deep into Georgetown territory. Despite an out-of-position goalkeeper, Friar forward Gevork Diarbian failed to capitalize in the 69th minute.
Diarbian’s shot sailed above the net, much to Georgetown’s relief. A few minutes later, Providence forward Brendan McSorley almost scored, but Providence was flagged offside and the goal was quickly nullified.
Undeterred, the third time was, in fact, a charm for Providence. As the two sides jockeyed for control, the Friars managed to draw a free kick within 30 yards of the net. Friar midfielder Diego Batista took the kick. He set Diarbian up with a perfectly placed ball, and the forward headed it past Schewe and into the back of the net. Diarbian’s goal broke the stalemate and put Providence up 1-0 in the 76th minute.
Providence sought to keep the pressure on as Georgetown made substitutions. Just a few minutes later, Georgetown would concede another free kick near their net. This time, however, they kicked directly into the net. Schewe would make the save and prevent Providence from going up 2 goals.
With time rapidly running out, the Hoyas sought one last opportunity to even the score, but they never found one. For the first time this season, the Hoyas were shut out.
“There weren’t a lot of chances for either team,” Head Coach Brian Wiese, reflecting on the low-scoring nature of the game, told Georgetown Athletics.
Though disappointed with Saturday’s result, Wiese remained confident in his squad.
“We are going to take a few things we learned from this game, put them into our toolbelt and move forward,” Wiese said.
Though Georgetown was unable to pull off a victory, there were several bright spots for the Hoyas. Saturday marked only the second time this season they had been scored on by a Big East opponent. The Hoya attack was also remarkably accurate, with six of their nine shots being on target. Individually, senior forward Marlon Tabora and sophomore midfielder Max Viera each had two shots on goal.
Georgetown will look to bounce back as they open their final homestand of the season against the Villanova Wildcats (1-7-4, 1-4-1 Big East). The Hoyas face the Wildcats on their home pitch at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18.