Georgetown men’s soccer (2-6, 1-1 Big East) suffered its first loss in Big East play on Saturday afternoon, losing 2-0 to the Xavier Musketeers (4-2-2, 2-0 Big East) on Homecoming Day, shutting the Hoyas out for the fifth time in just eight games this season.
With a lack of offensive production, two defensive lapses by the Hoyas were enough to give the Musketeers the win.
The Hoyas started off the game in good shape. The ball was in Xavier’s half of the field for most of the first 10 minutes, and Georgetown created some average chances. But the momentum of the game swayed quickly when the Musketeers took advantage of a defensive mistake by the Hoyas in the 34th minute. Xavier senior forward Jalen Brown capitalized on the breakdown and sent a shot rolling past charging sophomore goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski and into the back of the net.
“The first goal was definitely a gift from us. … We didn’t win a ball in the air, and then a guy touched a ball through another kid’s legs,” sophomore defender Peter Schropp said. “Got lucky with it, then it hit off Kyle our right back, and just pretty much set it up like a present for him. It hurt us.”
Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese agreed with Schropp’s take on the first goal.
“That was really where I thought the back four looked like sort of a young back four. I mean we made some mistakes,” Wiese said.
The rest of the half played out uneventfully with neither team producing any dangerous chances.
The beginning of the second half was a much different story. The Hoyas came out with an attacking mentality, generating chance after chance.
“They came out with a little more of a mentality of working hard to get in more attacking positions. I think that’s maybe been some of our problems with the group this year that we have a lot of guys that can play and are good attacking guys but they’re not really doing the work needed to get to better attacking positions,” Wiese said.
Senior forward and co-captain Brett Campbell and junior midfielder Arun Basuljevic both catalyzed the offense with shots, but the shots were not dangerous enough to cause havoc for Xavier’s defense. Basuljevic and Campbell combined for nine of Georgetown’s 14 shots on the day.
Georgetown’s offensive flurry slowed down and Xavier’s second goal came in the 68th minute, effectively putting the game out of Georgetown’s reach.
“That second goal was just kind of a dagger. It started with just a quick transition, which is what Xavier’s kind of known to do, and then they played a good ball across, and they finished it,” Schropp said.
Despite the Hoyas’ defense allowing two goals, keeper Marcinkowski was only forced to save four of the Musketeers’ 10 shots.
For the rest of the game, the coaching staff tried to ignite the offense with various substitutions, such as putting senior defender P.J. Koscher up top as a forward. Wiese’s decision nearly paid off, as Koscher chipped the goalie at one point before his shot was barely cleared off the line.
“He’s someone that when you talk about getting into good aggressive positions he does that naturally even though he’s been a center back really for his time here,” Wiese said. “He’s one of those guys you’re looking to see if he’s going to provide you that spark you’re looking for.”
Nevertheless, the Blue and Gray failed to cut the lead and lost by a final score of 2-0.
The Hoyas have a quick turnaround, with a conference game against American University on Tuesday at 3 p.m. on Shaw Field.
“I think it’s an opportunity to solve a couple things we got to get a little better. The discipline needed, I thought we lost our discipline in the last ten minutes, that was my biggest disappointment with the group,” Wiese said. “We didn’t push through for a full 90 minutes.”