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

Hoyas Advance to Second Round of NCAAs

Three seasons ago, now-senior forward Jose Colchao was a freshman on the men’s soccer team. In his first game on Aug. 31, 2007, Georgetown lost 3-0 to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Yesterday at North Kehoe Field, he and the Hoyas (12-6-1) avenged that loss in the program’s first NCAA tournament win since 1997. The Blue and Gray played the Spartans (12-6-4) off the pitch in a 3-0 first-round win that brought Colchao’s Georgetown soccer experience full circle and prolonged his and the rest of the senior class’s college careers for at least one more game.

“Yesterday we were thinking this could be our last practice,” Colchao said after the match. “This was going to be our last home game most likely.”

While that’s probably true, the Hoya seniors left North Kehoe on the highest of notes. Colchao recorded two assists while his classmate, midfielder Seth C’deBaca, notched another. Senior forward Chandler Diggs scored the team’s third goal in the 83rd minute, and goalkeeper Matthew Brutto earned a shutout.

“We were anxious to play after a long layoff, but I don’t think we were ever unconfident about how we had been playing,” Colchao said. “We’ve been feeling it . that swagger that we always talked about. We found it again [today].”

The Hoyas didn’t wait long to jump on the Spartans, who came into the game riding an 11-game unbeaten streak. In the ninth minute after a blocked shot from senior defender Rob Burnett fell to Colchao outside the six-yard box with his back to the goal, the forward laid a pass back to sophomore Big East midfielder of the year Ian Christianson, who pushed a left-footed shot through a throng of defenders and into the right corner of the net.

Up 1-0, the Blue and Gray didn’t take their foot off the pedal. Sophomore forward Andy Riemer’s chance from the top of the 18-yard box was saved in the 13th minute, and Christianson hit the crossbar from roughly the same spot a minute later. Riemer fired away again in the 20th minute from the edge of the box, but his shot sailed high.

“It would have been nice to put the game out of reach a little earlier than we did, but that’s NCAA tournament soccer,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said.

But Riemer was finally able to widen the gap in the 21st minute when he headed home a C’deBaca corner kick to make it 2-0 Georgetown.

“I thought he was really dangerous today,” Wiese said of Riemer. “He’s an eternal optimist and a hard-working kid . and he gets goals from that.”

The Hoyas continued to bombard the Spartan goal, accumulating a remarkable 25 shots – 11 on goal – by day’s end. Freshman midfielder Steve Neumann had three solid chances in the match, and Riemer and Colchao each threatened from inside the penalty area at different points.

“It would have been nice if the three or four posts that we hit went in,” Christianson said. “It would have made the second half a little bit easier for us. But we knew [another goal] was coming.”

And it did in the 83rd minute when Diggs got on the end of a through ball from Colchao and slipped a shot past onrushing redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Peyton Ford to ice the game.

The Blue and Gray advance to play the No. 4 North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday night in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Hoyas have never made it out of the second round of the NCAA tournament in program history, but Wiese sees an opportunity to change that this weekend.

“We have some familiarity with the complex and the area and some of their players,” he said, referencing the Hoyas’ preseason trip to UNC a year ago when they lost 2-1 to the Tar Heels. “They are an incredibly talented, incredibly deep team. . But we’ve been preparing for this kind of opportunity, for this kind of an opponent, for a long time. If I’m UNC, I’m unhappy that we got lined up so early against a good team like us.”

As for the players, Colchao and company couldn’t be more ready for the challenge.

“We get the chance to play one of the top teams in the country at their place,” Colchao said. “I couldn’t be happier for the chance to play my final game there or to hopefully have one of the best moments of my life.”

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Fetzer Field.

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