The Georgetown men’s soccer team pulled off a little bit of its early season magic Wednesday, overcoming a two-goal halftime deficit to spoil West Virginia’s upset bid. The 3-2 come-from-behind victory was the Hoyas’ sixth this season, but its first in nearly a month after notching three consecutive comeback wins en route to their 4-0 start.
Since then, however, wins have come few and far between for Georgetown, as they added only one victory over a hapless Villanova team to their total over the following six games. Heading into their annual matchup with the Mountaineers, the Hoyas found themselves in a disappointing ninth place in the Big East, which only invites the top eight teams to participate in November’s conference tournament.
Heading into West Virginia, the Hoyas desperately needed a win.
The Hoyas got that win on Wednesday, and it propelled them right back into the thick of things in the Big East. Georgetown’s 3-3-1 conference record places them in a fifth place tie with Providence heading into the final third of their schedule.
The Hoyas have little room for error in their final four conference games, however, as just a single point separates them from ninth place in the conference standings.
Several heroes emerged from Wednesday’s match-up with West Virginia, some familiar and others almost unknown. With the Hoyas trailing 2-0 at the half, junior forward and team scoring leader Kenny Owens netted his sixth goal of the season on a penalty kick early in the second half. Eight minutes later, junior forward Nate Port took a feed from senior tri-captain Peter Bachman and punched it home to tie the game at two. The goal was Port’s fourth of the season.
With the game tied heading into the waning minutes, a pair of freshman lifted the Hoyas to their sixth win of the season. In the game’s 72nd minute, Joseph Paden scored his first collegiate goal on a header set up by Bachman, his second of the game. Bachman leads the Hoyas with three assists on the year.
Freshman goalkeeper Tim Hogan, playing in only his second collegiate game, shut out the Mountaineers in the second half to preserve the win for the Hoyas. Hogan collected five saves on the day and is a perfect 2-0 this season in net for the Hoyas.
Junior midfielder Alex Castillo and freshman midfielder Mike Austin scored first half goals for the Mountaineers.
Last Saturday, Georgetown squared off against perhaps Division I’s biggest surprise this season, Pittsburgh. Predicted to finish 10th in the Big East this season by the conference’s preeason poll, the Panthers have climbed to No. 7 in the nation. The Hoyas became yet another victim of the Panthers’ magical ride this season, falling to Pittsburgh, 4-2.
In their highest scoring contest this season, the Hoyas played the nation’s then No. 9 ranked team evenly until midway through the second half, when Pittsburgh’s Pete Veltri received a header from teammate Chris Churchill and booted the ball across the mouth of the goal into the upper left-hand corner of the net for a spectacular goal.
Fifteen minutes later, the Hoyas appeared to tie the game for the third time when Owens’ shot beat Panther goalkeeper Justin Gaul, but the goal was called back due to a foul. Moments later, a disheartened Hoya squad yielded its fourth goal of the game to Pittsburgh’s Chad Porter.
Despite the loss, the game saw the emergence of freshman Greg Freeburg, who scored two game-tying goals for the Hoyas in their losing effort. Freeburg ranks third on the Hoyas’ with three goals and seven points.
After playing six consecutive hard-fought Big East games, the Hoyas will enjoy a one-game hiatus from the pressures of the conference this weekend before facing their final four conference opponents, beginning Tuesday with a home game against Notre Dame. The Hoyas play host to Navy tomorrow at 1 p.m. on Harbin Field. The idshipmen are 9-2-1 on the year, but have lost two in a row.
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