For the Georgetown men’s soccer team, the march toward the postseason has been rough at times. After an up-and-down stretch of games in the past few weeks, the Hoyas got a break with a 2-1 non-conference win against Navy Tuesday afternoon.

“We gave ourselves a little bit of a challenge by giving up that goal, but we deserved to win,” Georgetown Head Coach Keith Tabatznik said. “At the end of the game we did the right things, so today was fine and hopefully we’ll get a little momentum.”

The Hoyas looked like a team that was ready for the postseason against the Navy Midshipmen (3-8-4, 1-3-1 Patriot) in the second game of a four-game homestand to close out the season.

The Hoyas dominated the match from the onset, connecting passes, making solid touches, communicating well and holding the ball in the Midshipmen half.

That control of the game paid off in the 18th minute when senior forward Paul Brandley netted a penalty kick to put the Hoyas on the board. The kick was awarded after a Navy foul on sophomore forward Ricky Schramm in the box. The goal was Brandley’s first of the season.

After the goal the Hoyas did not let up, taking three more shots, but none found their way into the goal and the teams left the field at halftime with Georgetown still ahead 1-0.

In the second half the Hoyas got on the board again off another idshipmen foul. After a foul at the top of the 18-yard box, junior midfielder Danny McAnally took a quick restart, passing the ball to the left side of the box to freshman defender Richard Diaz.

Diaz then crossed it to the front of the net to senior midfielder Trevor Goodrich, who one-touched the ball into the goal low and hard for the score. On Goodrich’s first goal of the year, the Hoyas went up 2-0.

After the goal Georgetown continued to keep possession in the Navy half of the field. The Hoyas took six shots in the next 15 minutes, but the Midshipmen would not roll over and eventually cut Georgetown’s lead to one in the 68th minute.

Freshman midfielder Justin Waskey connected with fellow freshman forward J.P. Murphy. He passed the ball into the box to another freshman, forward Ryan Trespalacios, who shot the ball past diving Georgetown freshman goalkeeper Joe Devine into the left corner for the goal.

In the closing 20 minutes of the game Navy only attempted one more shot and Devine was there for the save, and Georgetown went on to win by a final score of 2-1.

“We played a pretty solid game,” Navy Head Coach Greg Myers said in a press release. “We had a lot of veterans that didn’t come to play today and the young kids stepped in and played very well. They gave a good effort and played with a lot of energy. We put forth a solid, all-around effort.”

At the end of the game, the Hoyas outshot the Mids 20-9, a disparity that reflected the large amount of possession time Georgetown had spent in the Navy half. For the Hoyas Devine had four saves while Navy senior keeper Frank DiFilippo tallied five. In the physical match, Georgetown committed 10 fouls to Navy’s 14, two of which directly resulted in Hoya goals.

“For myself, there’s a couple of us that are seniors and being a senior we’ve got to take it all the way,” Goodrich said. “These are the last couple of games I’ll probably ever play, so it’s sort of do or die, just trying to leave it all out there.”

While the win over Navy does not help Georgetown with its standings in the Big East, it does help keep alive the Hoyas’ hopes of making the NCAA tournament. With strong performances against five top-25 teams this year, including a 1-1 tie with then-No. 12 Boston College last week, the Hoyas look to be one of 48 teams to make the national tournament next month. A win over No. 14 Seton Hall tomorrow would greatly improve Georgetown’s chance of earning an at-large bid.

“[This win] was important if we want to keep the NCAA tournament and an at-large bid on the horizon,” Tabatznik said. “It’s very important – we could not have lost this game and had that still be on the horizon. So this was important, and the guys knew that.”

The Hoyas will face the No. 14 Pirates (11-5-1, 5-4-0 Big East) tomorrow in their last conference match of the season.

Depending on the outcome of this game and other Big East finales being played around the conference, the Hoyas could finish as high as fourth in the league and earn home-field advantage or not make the Big East tournament at all.

“[This needs to be] our most complete game of the year, in every aspect,” Tabatznik said. “We are a very good team and . we absolutely have everything to play for.”

Schramm also understands the game’s importance.

“Saturday is the culmination of the season,” he said. “A couple games against the lower-ranked teams in the Big East we kind of took too lightly and we put ourselves in a position where this game is huge.”

The Pirates are fourth in the Big East while the Hoyas stand in sixth. Last year Seton Hall defeated Georgetown 3-1 in their only meeting.

The Pirates were eliminated in the first round of the Big East tournament by Rutgers in 2003, while the Hoyas failed to qualify for postseason play. It was the first time Georgetown failed to make the conference tournament since 1992.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. tomorrow on North Kehoe Field.

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