The men’s soccer team started its first win streak of the season with a 1-0 victory over the St. John’s Red Storm at home on Saturday.
With the win against the Red Storm (6-4-4, 2-2-2 Big East), the Hoyas (5-8-1, 2-3-1 Big East) move into seventh place in the Big East standings with three regular season games remaining. The top six teams in the regular season standings advance to the Big East Tournament at the end of the season.
“[The first half] was an opportunity to really be aggressive and step high, and do exactly what I think we did. I think the first half was very, very good,” Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese said.
In this fast-paced game with many quick transitions, Georgetown took advantage and used speed to create scoring opportunities.
“We started with [freshman forward] Achara and I out wide so that’s kind of more speed going down the wings, so we were looking to get in behind them, especially with the wind first half,” senior forward and co-captain Brett Campbell said. “And [junior forward] Zach [Knudson] did a great job holding up the ball, and because of the possession, we were able to get dangerous opportunities.”
In the eighth minute, Knudson pushed the ball toward the goal line and delivered a low cross into the box that Campbell buried into the back of the net to give the Blue and Gray the early lead.
Following the goal, Georgetown protected their lead and headed into halftime carrying a lot of momentum.
However, the game began to even out in the second half, and the Red Storm developed more opportunities and had more possession. Sophomore goalkeeper and co-captain JT Marcinkowski and the rest of the Hoya defense had trouble clearing the ball out of their half of the field, most visibly shown by the goal kicks.
“We kind of knew coming into the second half that it was going to be tough. Definitely not going to be as easy to clear the balls and I guess just kind of play out in general,” Marcinkowski said. “But we had a game plan going into halftime and then we executed it pretty well in the second half.”
Georgetown slowly began to stave off St. John’s and even created some chances of its own up the sides of the field, in large part because of the play in the center of the midfield by senior midfielder and co-captain Bakie Goodman and junior midfielder Christopher Lema.
“I thought [Goodman] and [Lema] were really good today at reading where balls were going to end up in tough conditions and picking up the seconds. And not allowing their guys from doing it. That was really in a nut shell the game,” Wiese said.
A slip-up that nearly cost the Hoyas the game came in the final two minutes, when the Red Storm created pressure during a free kick directly outside the box, leading to a dangerous scramble in which Marcinkowski was forced off his line.
St. John’s could not convert, and Georgetown ended the game unscathed — notching the team’s first consecutive wins of the season.
“This is our first streak of the season so hopefully we’re hitting our stride when it’s really important,” Campbell said. “It’s the most important time of the year; we need to keep winning and hopefully get a good seed into the tournament.”
Georgetown will take to the road and travel to New Jersey on Wednesday to take on the Seton Hall Pirates (3-10-1, 1-5 Big East). Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m.