MEN’S SOCCER Hoyas Blank Providence Owens Scores Winner In Shutout Victory By Chris Cariello Hoya Staff Writer

Ginny Simmons/For The Hoya Sophomore back Greg Freeburg and the Hoyas edged Big East rival Providence this weekend, 1-0.

The Georgetown men’s soccer team, behind a second-half goal by senior forward and co-captain Kenny Owens, capped a successful week by defeating the Providence Friars 1-0 at Harbin Field on Saturday.

The goal was scored in the 73rd minute of the game and powered the Hoyas to a 2-1 mark in Big East conference play and a 4-3-1 record overall. Georgetown had a very solid overall performance, shutting out the Friars and remaining patient until their offensive efforts finally earned them the winning goal.

While Georgetown controlled play and out-shot Providence in the first half, neither team got on the board. The Hoyas created many more chances than the Friars and applied constant pressure as Owens and recent standout senior forward and co-captain Nate Port coordinated their runs well, causing problems for the opposing defense.

Finally, midway through the second half, the tandem was able to capitalize on perseverance, effort and their fair share of luck to net the go-ahead goal. A missed header by junior forward Tony Soric began a scrambled fight for the ball in the box that eventually led to the goal. Perhaps everyone watching, including Providence goalkeeper Danny Glynn, thought Soric’s head ball would sail over the crossbar and out of bounds. Everyone, that is, except Port, who stayed with the ball and out-leapt three other players to keep the play alive after it caromed off the top of the crossbar. Owens promptly deflected Port’s header into the goal.

Providence did apply some pressure to the Georgetown defense, but solid play in the back as well as the presence of standout junior goalkeeper Brian O’Hagan held the Friars scoreless and secured the victory. O’Hagan finished with five saves, and Glynn had four in the losing effort. Glynn was significantly more challenged as the Hoyas out-shot the Friars 15-8. O’Hagan sparkled, however, in the final 20 minutes, withstanding several shots and leaving his line to secure dangerous balls.

The victory was perhaps the most team-oriented of the season for the Hoyas, who moved as a unit maintaining a very definite shape that allowed their offensive flow and created their defensive impermeability. The Hoyas also seemed superior to the Friars in effort and focus besides their obvious advantage in execution. Georgetown won and controlled the majority of the balls in the air and remained spread out to fragment the Providence squad.

The win was most important because it put the Hoyas in a very good position to make the NCAA tournament. This tournament has been restructured to include a 48-team field, and the new format makes it harder to know what a team has to do to make it.

“If the field had been 48 teams, we probably would have made it two out of the last three years,” Head Coach Keith Tabatznik said. “But the best way to make it is still to fulfill our goal of winning the Big East. I don’t think any team is going to finish the Big East undefeated, which means that with our 2-1 record, we still have a chance to win it.”

Tabatznik’s optimism may be in part due to the fact that his team so far this season has boasted some of the conference’s most effective players. This week, Port, who scored two goals in the overtime victory against West Virginia and had the assist on Owens’ goal in the Providence game, earned Co-Big East Player of the Week honors. Port leads the team with 10 points.

O’Hagan garnered Co-Goalkeeper of the Week honors as he has allowed only two goals in the last 352 minutes of play and got his second shutout of the season against Providence.

The Hoyas square off against Old Dominion in a non-conference match today at 3:30 p.m. on Harbin Field. Conference play resumes Friday when Georgetown travels to South Bend, Ind., to take on Notre Dame.

Team Schedules/Rosters 2001 Men’s Soccer Schedule | Roster

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