After a promising opening weekend in which they defeated Northeastern and then-No. 24 Michigan State at home, the No. 20 Georgetown men’s soccer team (2-2) laid a disappointing egg in the TLC Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., this past weekend with a pair of 3-1 losses to unranked opponents. The Hoyas fell to the tournament hosts, New Mexico (3-1-1), on Friday night before suffering a defeat at the hands of Denver (2-1-1) on Sunday afternoon.

The 0-2 trip leaves the Blue and Gray with a .500 record, and they will likely find themselves outside the top-25 of the NSCAA national rankings when the new poll is released today.

NEW MEXICO 3, GEORGETOWN 1

Scoring chances were few and far between for the Hoyas in their first game of the invitational against the Lobos. Georgetown registered just six shots, and only two of those tries were on target. New Mexico, on the other hand, fired away whenever and from wherever, finishing the game with 17 total shots, with six of those shots going on goal.

Georgetown senior goalkeeper Mark Wilber had a rough time in his first start of the season. Playing in the town where he went to high school at Albuquerque Academy, the athletic netminder was twice beaten from long distance; New Mexico senior midfielder Ryan Farquharson scored the only goal of the first half from 30 yards out in the 23rd minute, and junior midfielder Lance Rozeboom later bested Wilber from just across the midline in the 54th minute. Rozeboom’s tally made it 3-0 and came just less than two minutes after sophomore forward Levi Rossi finished a cross from the right side to score the Lobos’ second goal of the night.

“We played well against New Mexico, and on the road there are a lot of things that are out of your control,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “The refs, the crowd, the gamesmanship of the home team. But we managed it well. We didn’t make some key plays, which they did, but as far as our performance goes, we did what we set out to do.”

Frustration boiled over into a red card for Georgetown senior midfielder Seth C’deBaca in the second half, and skirmishes between Hoyas and Lobos twice resulted in dual yellow cards for the players involved.

The Hoyas’ most positive moment came in the 73rd minute when senior defender Alex Verdi took a bouncing ball in the box from a corner kick and planted it in the back of the net from the left side to break the Lobos’ shutout, but the man-down goal was not enough to spur a miraculous comeback for the visitors.

DENVER 3, GEORGETOWN 1

Hoping to show that Friday night’s lackluster performance against New Mexico was an aberration, Georgetown came out on Sunday afternoon and took an early lead when sophomore midfielder Ian Christianson was fouled in the box in the 16th minute and converted the ensuing penalty kick.

But the Hoyas could not nurse their slim advantage past the 34th minute as Denver senior defender Michael Perry slotted his own penalty kick try past Georgetown senior goalkeeper Matthew Brutto to tie the game at one goal apiece.

As it had done on Friday night, the Blue and Gray defense allowed a follow-up goal in quick succession when Denver sophomore

midfielder Josh Wren found sophomore defender Blake Shannon in the box off a free kick to give the Pioneers their first lead of the match at 2-1 in the 36th minute.

Georgetown’s struggles continued into the second half as the visitors managed just one shot in the final 45 minutes. Denver put the game out of reach in the 70th minute on a goal by Wren.

“Obviously the results are disappointing,” Wiese said. “I think the biggest issue we have right now is that our young boys are carrying the team, and the seniors need to start stepping up and rising to the challenges of the game.”

Georgetown was outshot 16-6 in the Denver loss and 33-12 for the tournament. Of their opponents’ combined 13 shots on goal, six ended up in the back of the net.

“We have to move forward quickly,” Wiese said about the team’s next step. “It was a unique situation with the altitude, the type of game and our personnel being depleted. We need to get healthy, get our energy back and get back to the basics of Georgetown soccer. We have the talent and experience in place to do that, and we’ll be working hard on that this week.”

The Hoyas will try to return to the form that helped them demolish a ranked Michigan State squad only nine days ago when they travel to Princeton, N.J., for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff with the Tigers this Friday. The team returns home to North Kehoe Field on Sunday to conclude an Ivy League weekend against Penn at 1 p.m.

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