The Georgetown men’s soccer team (3-6, 1-1 Big East) overcame its offensive woes on Tuesday at Shaw Field, defeating the American University Eagles (4-3-3, 1-0 Patriot League) 3-1. The Hoyas doubled their scoring output on the season after giving up the lead in the eighth minute.
American started strong, controlling the game early on, taking two shots in the first few minutes before scoring its only goal of the game. American senior forward Joe Iraola got around a Georgetown defender on a one-on-one play to put the Eagles ahead. However, the Blue and Gray fought back, and unlike previous comeback attempts this season, they were finally successful.
“I think the guys handled going down a goal really well. We were down eight minutes in the game, and you were sort of wondering with how the season’s gone if that’s going to derail everything you’re talking about or how they handle that emotionally,” Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “And I thought we were fantastic with the response, and you had some really good performances by guys who hadn’t been on field a whole lot up to this point.”
One player who had rarely seen the field this season was senior goalkeeper Mitchell Auer. Starting in place of sophomore goalkeeper and co-captain J.T. Marcinkowski, Auer played very well in one of the few starts of his career, saving six shots.
“[Marcinkowski] has been going really well for us, but Mitch is a senior. He’s really emerged as a leader in the locker room, you hear him really engaged with the guys and he’s been playing well, and so we were always looking ahead to a situation where he might be in a postseason game, a Big East semifinal, a Big East final, a NCAA tournament game, if [Marcinkowski] picks up an injury,” Coach Wiese said. “We don’t want those first few minutes of the season to be in those games; this was a good opportunity to get [Auer] in and keep him sharp for down the road.”
Georgetown responded quickly when senior forward and co-captain Brett Campbell got his head on sophomore defender Kyle Zajec’s cross, heading in his third goal of the season. The goal came in the 14th minute of the game. Georgetown finished the half with the tie intact, before breaking out in the second half.
Soon after the half began, in the 52nd minute of the game, senior midfielder Jon Azzinnari got his first goal of his career. It turned out to be the game-winning goal. Azzinnari scored on a corner kick, knocking the ball into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead.
The rest of the game was fast paced, with eight shots from American in the second half and seven from Georgetown.
“Mitch was busy; you have to look at it from two fronts. One, American is built to really play a game of chicken, it’ll keep a lot of guys high. They are happy to concede some chances if it means they’ll get some chances on the other side,” Coach Wiese said.
In the 66th minute, the Blue and Gray got an insurance goal when the Eagles committed a foul in their own box. Junior midfielder Arun Basuljevic put away the penalty kick, his first goal of the season, to give the Hoyas the 3-1 lead and the victory.
Up next is Big East foe Butler, whom Georgetown will play in Indiana at 7 p.m. on Saturday.