CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA Junior forward Brandon Allen scored Georgetown’s lone goal in a 1-1 draw against the No. 9 UC Irvine Anteaters at Shaw Field on Sunday.
Junior forward Brandon Allen scored Georgetown’s lone goal in a 1-1 draw against the No. 9 UC Irvine Anteaters at Shaw Field on Sunday.

The No. 6 Georgetown men’s soccer team (2-1-3) played its fourth overtime game this season Sunday at home, ending its match with No. 9 UC Irvine (4-0-1) in a 1-1 tie.

The game followed a similar pattern to Thursday’s loss to the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. Junior forward Brandon Allen put his team ahead early, but Georgetown allowed a late equalizer that sent the match into overtime. Instead of succumbing to an overtime loss after conceding in the waning moments of regular time like they did against VCU, the Hoyas played evenly with the Anteaters until the draw was confirmed.

“The games actually had a pretty similar feeling in a lot of ways,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “If you look at it as a weekend, it is a pretty frustrating weekend. We feel we could have been 2-0 … and you end up with a loss and a tie.”

Georgetown deviated from its Starting 11 for the first time this season. Freshman midfielder Christopher Lema made the first start of his college career, playing instead of senior midfielder Tom Skelly.

Lema featured prominently in Georgetown’s lone goal, as he started the play by sliding in for an impressive tackle to win the ball from a UC Irvine player. Sophomore midfielder Bakie Goodman then collected the ball and found Allen at the top of the 18-yard box. Allen turned and found the back of the net, shooting the ball to the right of Anteaters redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Michael Breslin, whose dive felt short. The goal was Allen’s fourth of the young season, and he currently leads the team in points.

“I think I have been playing well. I think I have been getting in good spots to score goals,” Allen said. “Credit to my teammates, they have been there for me the whole way. Hopefully this continues.”

Georgetown jumped out to early leads against Harvard and VCU, but in both games struggled to play as well in the second half as it did in the first. Sunday’s game, on the other hand, felt much more like the Hoyas’ win over Wisconsin, with Georgetown controlling the pace of play in the second half and having the best chances to score the game’s second goal. Lema had a shot saved in the 48th minute by Breslin, and Allen missed an opportunity in the 80th minute after a pass by senior midfielder Austin Martz put the forward in behind the defense.

This run of play made UC Irvine’s goal in the 73rd minute all the more surprising. The Anteaters successfully defended a corner kick and quickly started the counter-attack. The play saw several Georgetown defenders, including junior captain Keegan Rosenberry and sophomore Joshua Yaro, out of position. As both sides raced toward the Georgetown goal, a pass into the 18-yard box ricocheted between players before being redirected over senior goalkeeper and captain Tomas Gomez by junior midfielder Mats Bjurman. Yaro tried to clear the ball off of the line but could not reach it in time.

“We handled the counter-attack off of the corner kick really poorly. They [UC Irvine] make you pay for it. … It was not a personnel issue; we had the right people back there. We just didn’t handle it, and suddenly, it is 1-1,” Wiese said.

The match, which had seen methodical, possession-based play by both sides, opened up in overtime. The Hoyas forced two saves in each of the two overtime periods, including a close-range effort by sophomore forward Alex Muyl after a great cross by Rosenberry. The missed chances by Muyl and Allen mirrored two chances on an open net missed in the loss to VCU.

“Everyone knows there is soccer karma. We are hoping the soccer karma starts falling our way and that some of these things start going in,” Wiese said.

The Anteaters also created chances that very nearly won the game. Yaro jumped in front of a shot in the 95th minute to save the game, and a free kick taken by redshirt senior midfielder Gor Kirakosyan hit the outside of the post in the 105th. Despite the opportunities from both sides, the game ended in Georgetown’s third draw of the season. The game was the second in a row that the Hoyas could not protect an early lead or regain that lead after it had been lost.

“What we have to do is just be a championship team. When we score a goal [we need to] just keep it together and fight to the end.” Allen said. “We haven’t been holding it together.”

The Hoyas will play Princeton away at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

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