As the weather has cooled down, the Hoyas have started to heat up.

With a 2-1 win over Seton Hall (7-10, 3-7) Wednesday night, Georgetown (7-10, 5-5) has now won three straight Big East contests, and over their last five games, the Hoyas’ once-anemic offense has erupted for nine goals in four wins.

The Hoyas ensured themselves at least the fifth seed out of the Blue Division in the Big East tournament with the win, and would climb as high as the fourth seed if they win their final game tomorrow against Notre Dame and Providence loses its final match. Earning the fourth seed would mean a home game in the first round of the tournament.

“We’ve said it all season long – we want to be playing our best soccer in October and November,” Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese said.

Wednesday night in South Orange, N.J., the Hoyas controlled the pace of the match from the opening whistle. However, in the 19th minute, the Pirates’ freshman midfielder Brayan Martinez unleashed rocket from 20 yards out that freshman goalkeeper Matthew Brutto had no chance to save. Wiese said that the goal came as a shock because his side had played extremely well in the first 20 minutes, and it was the first time Seton Hall had possession deep in the Georgetown half.

The Hoyas wasted little time knotting the score. On a free kick seven minutes later, sophomore midfielder Scott Larrabee’s service found the foot of freshman defender Alex Verdi, who one-timed a shot past freshman goalkeeper Sean Carr.

Georgetown continued to control the possession, and took the lead 15 minutes into the second half. Freshman midfielder Seth C’deBaca, who leads the Hoyas with four assists, found sophomore midfielder Conor Neusel streaking past the Seton Hall defense. Carr came off of his line, but Neusel beat him to the ball and easily knocked it past him for a goal.

“Seth won the ball in transition and played a fabulous through ball,” Wiese said. “He could easily have 10 assists on the year.”

Seton Hall pressed Georgetown for the remainder of the match, but could not beat Brutto, who made three of his four saves in the second half.

The Hoyas have found success on both ends of the field in the last five games – they have netted over 60 percent of their season goal total and have held their opponents to one goal per game. Wiese attributes the improved play to a consistent lineup and the leadership of junior midfielder Sean Bellomy.

“Sean has been a quiet leader for us,” Wiese said. “He’s accepted his role coming off the bench, which is hard for an older guy to do, but he’s done it nicely.”

For a team that relies so heavily on freshman – first-year players have accounted for five goals and 10 assists and newcomer Brutto leads the team in goals against average (.74) and save percentage (.829) – it will be important that the rookies continue their solid play into the Big East tournament. He and senior Joe Devine have split time evenly this season but Brutto has become the starting keeper and is unlikely to see time off, especially with Notre Dame on tap.

“With the freshman, you always wonder if it will be a roller coaster. Will they be way up one week and way down the next,” Wiese said. “It depends on how they handle their studies and social life, and I think that they have done a good job of that so far.”

The Hoyas final game of the regular season will be a tough one when the Fighting Irish come to town. Notre Dame (10-3-4, 7-0-3) is in first place in the Big East and ranked ninth in the country. The Irish have locked up a first-round bye in the conference tournament and could ensure a top seed with a win on Saturday. Although the Hoyas have climbed the standings with wins over the bottom half of the league, they are not concerned about the Irish’s ranking.

“Nobody is going into the weekend worried about who we are playing because we have already played two or three teams of their caliber,” Neusel said. “Everyone is pretty confident right now.”

Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday on North Kehoe Field.

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