Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Stays Alive with Overtime Goal

Georgetown Stays Alive with Overtime Goal

Kvello’s Goal Sets Up Meeting Today with Connecticut

By Michael Medici Hoya Staff Writer

You knew they were going to win. They had to. For the entire game, Georgetown played its game, controlling the midfield and dominating in their defensive zone. The tempo was set by the Hoyas from the beginning and, through both halves and both overtime periods, they looked like they were going to score any second.

They just waited for a while. A long while.

In the 119th minute, with just 21 seconds left in the second overtime period, senior captain Eric Kvello scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season to give the Hoyas a dramatic 1-0 victory over Providence in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament, last Sunday aftenroon on Harbin Field.

On a cold, rainy and windy Washington, D.C., day, the postseason atmosphere reigned over on the crowd and the players.

Like postseason play in any other sport, defense took center stage Sunday. With great efforts put in by freshmen Mark Manning and Kenny Owens and sophomore Jeff Boehling, Providence’s offensive attempts were short lived at best. Whenever a forward broke through, these backers always won the ball in a one-on-one situation and cleared the ball nicely. If a Friar did get an angle, junior goalkeeper Tyler Purtill was there time and time again to make big saves. It was Purtill’s eighth shutout of the season.

“They played big time in the back,” said Head Coach Keith Tabatznik. “And Tyler made a couple of great saves.”

With the Hoyas controlling the game, they did have several opportunities during regulation to score, but they missed by inches. In the 35th minute, junior midfielder Mert Incekara sent a nice up-ball to Kvello, who fired from 20 yards out, just missing the left post as Providence’s goalkeeper Daniel Pires dove to his left.

The Hoyas came out firing in the second half, keeping the ball in Providence’s zone for much of the first 15 minutes, getting repeated corner kicks. In the 48th minute, junior forward Jason Partenza had an opportunity off one of those corner kicks, but headed the ball from 10 yards out right into the post.

For the game the Georgetown offense outshot Providence 21-15 and had an 11-7 advantage in corner kicks.

With the game still tied 0-0 at the end of regulation, the Hoyas and Friars went into two 15-minute overtime periods, which were not sudden death. If the score remained tied after that, then a sudden death period would follow. Although the Hoyas had controlled regulation, the Friars were still very much alive.

In the second minute of the first overtime period, Purtill made perhaps the biggest save of the day, as Providence’s sophomore forward Kevin Jones advanced into the box and fired to the right corner. Purtill dove to his left just in time to slap the ball wide of the goal to preserve the scoreless tie.

With 4:30 remaining in the second overtime, Providence again was knocking on the door, as Andrew McConville ripped one from 20 yards out, hitting the top crossbar squarely, just missing a surely backbreaking goal that late in the game.

The Hoyas survived these few Friar opportunities, though, and their star player again stepped up, as he has been doing all year long.

The play that led to the winning goal was started with a free kick by junior midfielder Kevin Shaw, who found sophomore forward Khary Robinson at the top of the box. Robinson penetrated into the zone, and passed to an open Kvello, who put the ball into the back of the net with just 21 seconds left in the overtime period.

All of Providence’s players, in absolute astonishment, hit the ground almost as fast as Robinson took off his shirt streaking up the sideline in celebration.

“This was a game we deserved to win,” Tabatznik said. “It was a great effort to leave Wednesday’s [5-4 loss to Richomnd] behind and come out and play as well as we did.”

Now the tables are set for a Big East semifinal between Georgetown and Connecticut on Friday at 6 p.m. at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J. Connecticut advanced to the semifinal after dominating West Virginia, 4-0, in the quarterfinal.

Although offense is sure to be the focus of the game with these two teams, Tabatznik is confident in his backers after Sunday’s performance.

“Hopefully now we understand the importance of team defending,” Tabatznik said, “[Sunday] we didn’t give up that many good chances.”

In the other semifinal game, which will be played immediately following the Georgetown vs. Connecticut game, No. 2 seed St. John’s will battle No.3 seed Rutgers. St. John’s advanced with a 2-0 win over Notre Dame, and Rutgers survived Seton Hall, 3-1, in double overtime.

 

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