Few teams in Division I men’s soccer have had a better September and October than No. 12 Georgetown (7-2-2, 3-0-0 Big East). The Hoyas have posted a 7-1-1 record since Sept. 1 and has not lost since Sept. 4. The team is currently carrying a five-game winning streak after defeating No. 21 Butler (6-2-3, 2-1-0 Big East) 2-0 Saturday afternoon at home on Shaw Field.
Butler may have been the latest team to fall to an in-form Georgetown, but it also presented a difficult test. The Bulldogs entered the game averaging 2.1 goals per game. It was one of three teams that remained undefeated in the Big East, along with Georgetown and No. 1 Creighton (12-0-0, 3-0-0 Big East).
The Hoyas were up to the task from the opening whistle. The first 20 minutes of the match were filled with opportunities for Georgetown to take an early lead. In the seventh minute, senior defender and co-captain Josh Turnley picked up a deflected shot in space inside the 18-yard box and forced Butler sophomore goalkeeper Eric Dick to make a one-on-one save. Less than 90 seconds later, senior forward Brandon Allen had a goal disallowed for offsides after putting a rebound off a save from Dick into the back of the net. The chances were a sign of success for Georgetown’s offense, but they were also missed opportunities.
“I thought we ran the game kind of how we wanted to run it. We needed to be a little sharper on a few things. We were in a lot of dangerous spots and generated enough chances to probably do more with it,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said.
The match evened out as play progressed, and Butler nearly took the lead in the 26th minute when sophomore midfielder Eric Leonard’s shot hit the inside of the post. Georgetown responded quickly, and a classic run of Georgetown play full of quick passes that opened up the defense led to the first goal of the afternoon.
A pass behind the defense by junior midfielder Bakie Goodman put junior forward Alex Muyl on the end line to the left of the goal with room to hit a low cross to the center of the box. Muyl found Allen, who easily beat the keeper and put the home side ahead 1-0 in the 28th minute.
“[Junior defender and co-captain Joshua Yaro] unlocked it with a great ball wide to [Turnley], and suddenly it feels like a really easy goal. It was very simple in how it was done,” Wiese said.
Georgetown entered the half with a slight advantage in the run of play and a 1-0 lead. It would double its lead and take control of the match in the second half, thoroughly outperforming a Butler side that looked defeated even with 30 minutes left to play.
The second goal of the match came less than three minutes after kickoff, when Georgetown took one of its nine corner kicks that afternoon. The loose ball fell to sophomore midfielder Arun Basuljevic, who shot to the bottom left of the goal. His attempt would likely have been saved or cleared by the defense had senior defender and co-captain Cole Seiler not been in the right place at the right time. Seiler, standing nearly on the goal line, redirected the shot off the crossbar and into the net for his first goal of the season.
“It feels great,” Seiler said. “We had a nice crowd come out, a lot of family and friends, so it was nice to put on a good performance.”
Butler could not get back in the game after going down by two goals. The Georgetown defense and midfield easily contained Butler’s offense, though the Bulldogs never looked particularly threatening. Seiler attributes this success, leading to Georgetown’s third consecutive shutout, to a halftime adjustment.
“Coach told us how to handle their transition, and I think that is where they are most dangerous and we were most susceptible. So once we were able to get [the midfielders] on the same page and drop one of the forwards a bit deeper, we were able to handle the transition a lot better,” Seiler said.
Georgetown improved to 3-0 in the Big East and is tied for first place with undefeated Creighton.
“Now that we have played three teams, three teams have our film. So they will definitely know where we are good at and where we are susceptible. It is always a new challenge each time you come out,” Seiler said.
Georgetown will host Marquette (5-4-2, 1-1-1 Big East) Wednesday on Shaw Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.
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