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Senior midfielder Sean Bellomy

A tie, legendary football coach Bear Bryant used to say, is like kissing your sister.

The Hoyas may know what Bryant meant after outplaying Seton Hall Wednesday afternoon on North Kehoe Field only to walk off the pitch with a 1-1 draw.

“It feels like a loss,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “But that’s a credit to where our expectations are.”

Expectations have been high for the Hoyas (7-2-2, 2-2-2 Big East), who have allowed just five goals in 11 games and are in the thick of the conference race in the Blue Division of the Big East. Seven of the eight teams in the division are within three points of each other.

But having not played in 10 days, Georgetown showed signs of rust early on as the defense made a rare mistake.

Seven minutes into the game, redshirt freshman Mark Wilber saved a Seton Hall shot, but Pirate sophomore forward Dritan Sela collected the rebound and knocked it past the Hoya keeper.

“Big Wilber made a good save, and we had a lot of guys standing around watching as their fellow lined up a volley,” Wiese said of the goal. “It’s just our guys falling asleep and not coming in and protecting. It’s a mental mistake.”

issing from the Hoyas’ backline was junior Len Coleman, an aggressive player and the team’s defensive leader. Coleman sat the first half after breaking a team rule, Wiese said.

Georgetown controlled the pace of the game for the rest of the match, creating numerous scoring chances.

“The guys pressed awfully hard – it was one-way traffic,” Wiese said.

The Hoyas had 13 corner kicks to the Pirates’ three, including an 8-0 edge in the first half. They had their best chance of the half in the waning minutes of the period, as a corner kick was cleared out of the Seton Hall box. Sophomore defender Mostafa Ebrahimnejad lined up a shot from 25 yards out and unleashed a rocket. The ball had the Pirate goalkeeper Paul McHenry beat, but it hit the crossbar.

Georgetown had 22 shots but only put six on goal. Wiese said he was pleased with the number of chances and the quality of the shots, but added that the team needs to convert more chances into goals.

Just over nine minutes into the second half, the Hoyas’ relentless attack yielded a result. Junior midfielder Scott Larrabee drew a penalty two yards outside of the box in the middle of the field. Senior midfielder Corey Zeller lined up the free kick slightly to the left of the center of goal, and hit it low and to the right of the Seton Hall wall. The ball snuck inside the right post for the equalizer.

“The keeper was lining up the wall on the near post and he was leaving it open at the far post,” Zeller said, “so I opened my hips and curled the ball [to the] keeper’s side.”

Georgetown had another good chance minutes later, as sophomore forward Chandler Diggs headed a ball on target. McHenry had to make a diving, one-handed save to deflect the ball over the net.

The game remained tied throughout the rest of the second half and through two overtime periods.

The play became heated as the match wore on – Seton Hall drew four yellow cards and Georgetown picked up two in the second half. Seton Hall Head Coach Manfred Schellscheidt, in his 21st year at the helm of the Pirates, was ejected from the game for dissent in overtime.

Wilber made a one-on-one save with less than a minute remaining in the first overtime to preserve the tie. Freshman midfielder Bradley Kerstetter got behind the Hoya defense, but Wilber stopped Kerstetter’s point-blank shot. Kerstetter collected the rebound and passed it to sophomore forward Samuel Petrone, the top scorer in the Big East, but Petrone sent his attempt from 10 yards out over the goal.

The Hoyas had numerous chances on free kicks and corners, but could not convert the chances into shots on goal.

“We were almost getting on the end of all of them,” said junior defender Mark Zeman, who took a majority of the free kicks and corners. “We just need to get some more on target and I need to get a little more consistent.”

The one point from the tie kept both teams in middle of the packed Blue Division. Notre Dame sits in first with 10 points, while Seton Hall is in a three-way tie for fifth with seven points. Georgetown is in third with eight points.

This weekend, the Hoyas will play host to the nationally ranked Huskies of Connecticut, who are second in the division with nine points.

– Hoya Staff Writer Hijab Shah contributed to this report.

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