This past Saturday, the Hoyas traveled to Milwaukee – as far from the Hilltop as they will be all season – to square off against the Marquette Golden Eagles. After a long trip, Georgetown disappointingly lost an opportunity to remain in the thick of the race for first place in the Big East Blue Division, falling 1-0 in their eighth conference match of the year.

The Hoyas (8-5-1, 5-3 Big East) outshot the Golden Eagles (3-7-3, 2-3-3 Big East) 18-16 and tallied three more corners but failed to find the back of the net. The loss is Georgetown’s first ever to Marquette, against whom they were previously 4-0 all-time.

“We came out flat,” junior forward Jose Colchao said. “We didn’t have crispness to our game.”

Georgetown was also without a few regular starters, namely freshman midfielder Ian Christianson, out with a knee injury, and junior goalkeeper [Mark Wilber](http://www.thehoya.com/sports/man-between-posts-brings-big-save-ability-hoyas/), who suffered a concussion against Maryland last Wednesday. Neither has a definite status going forward as they both remain day-to-day, according to Head Coach Brian Wiese.

In the first half, Marquette opened with a heavy attack, forcing Georgetown’s back four to come up with several blocks in the opening minutes. The Blue and Gray responded with offensive threats of their own and looked dangerous on set pieces with a solid header from sophomore forward David Madison and a shot off the foot of Colchao.

It was the Golden Eagles, however, who broke the scoreless tie in the 29th minute when sophomore midfielder Calum Mallace bested junior goalkeeper Matthew Brutto, giving the home team the 1-0 advantage.

“They came out and played very hard,” Wiese said. “If we hadn’t lost the goal . the game probably sorts itself out and things go our way . but that’s soccer.”

Brutto admitted that the goal was a wake-up call for the Hoyas.

“Sometimes things don’t fire on all cylinders,” Brutto said. “It took us to go a goal down before we said to ourselves, `Let’s get after it; let’s get a goal.'”

But that goal never came, and frustration only mounted in the second half for the Blue and Gray as they struggled to create scoring chances and allowed Marquette several opportunities on goal. Play became more physical as the game progressed, as four yellow cards were distributed to the two teams in the half.

“When Marquette scores, they get very excited and think they’re going to win it 1-0 and start packing it in at the back,” Wiese said. “It’s one of the biggest results of their year, so kudos to them.”

Georgetown simply did not look like the better team on the evening, and despite a few late shots on goal, the Hoyas found themselves heading home with no points to show for their efforts. As Colchao put it, “Sometimes you let one in, and that’s it.”

Georgetown’s schedule does not get any easier in the final weeks of the regular season. The Hoyas welcome Big East rival Notre Dame to North Kehoe Field on Wednesday before traveling to Morgantown, W. Va., for a Saturday match-up with the West Virginia University Mountaineers.

“We’re playing against one of the better teams in the country [on Wednesday], and we need to make sure we don’t give up anything easy,” Wiese said. “If they get goals, we want them to earn it.”

Wiese has strong ties to South Bend, a place where he served 10 years as an assistant coach to his mentor, current Head Coach Bobby Clark. Clark also coached Wiese in his playing days at Dartmouth.

“[Our teams] are built pretty similarly,” Wiese said. “We value a lot of the same things. . It’s going to be a very competitive match.”

The Fighting Irish’s visit to the Hilltop will be pivotal, and will go a long way toward determining the Hoyas’ ability to compete for a top-two spot in the Blue Division. With that goal in mind, Wiese recognizes the must-win nature of the upcoming contests.

“You’re playing against teams that are in the mix with you, so if we win we’ll have an inherent advantage,” he said. “To get in the top two, you need some special wins. … If we beat Notre Dame, we’ll be in a great spot.”

Georgetown is currently tied for third place with Notre Dame, two points behind second-place West Virginia in the division. With only two conference games remaining after Wednesday’s showdown, it will be crucial for the Hoyas to perform well against the Fighting Irish if they hope to guarantee themselves a first-round bye in the Big East tournament.

“This week is judgment week for us,” Wiese said. “It’s another opportunity to show that we can play with these kinds of teams, but also beat them.”

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