The Georgetown men’s soccer team learned Monday night that being close doesn’t count for anything in soccer.

The Hoyas (0-0-1) opened their 2011 campaign with a heartbreaking 1-0 overtime loss to Virginia Commonwealth (2-0-0). A hard shot outside of the 18-yard box by Rams junior midfielder Juan Arbelaez ended the game a little over a minute into extra time.

The Hoyas and the Rams played each other relatively even in the first half, with the shot tally at 6-5 in Georgetown’s favor. The Blue and Gray, though, had possibly the best chance of the game with 13 minutes left in the half. After a foul near midfield, sophomore midfielder Steve Neumann floated the ball to VCU’s back post where two Hoyas were waiting. Sophomore midfielder Keegan Carter shot the ball into the VCU goalkeeper’s chest and possibly over the goal line.

Several Hoyas insisted that the ball had crossed the line, but the referee did not agree.

“Whether it went in or not is one way or another,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “We should have put it into the back of the net, not into their goalie.”

“From my view it definitely crossed the line,” junior midfielder Ian Christianson said.

The Blue and Gray began to assert themselves in the opening stages of the second half, although their superiority wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard.

“I thought the second half was much better,” Wiese said. “The second half we gave them less time on the ball and we kept it much better. We had a lot more chances.”

Working off another set piece near midfield, Neumann chipped the ball into the box where the ball fell to freshman midfielder Tom Skelly. The freshman trapped the ball and passed it off to junior forward Mark Luxama, whose shot sailed over the net.

“When two good teams play, good chances are few and far between,” Wiese said. “You have to take the ones you get and we just didn’t take them today.”

 Chris Bien/The Hoya Freshman midfielder Tom Skelly battles for the ball in the Hoyas’ 1-0 loss to Virginia Commonwealth. A goal by the Rams early in the overtime period sent Georgetown to defeat in its first game of the regular season.

Chris Bien/The Hoya
Freshman midfielder Tom Skelly battles for the ball in the Hoyas’ 1-0 loss to Virginia Commonwealth. A goal by the Rams early in the overtime period sent Georgetown to defeat in its first game of the regular season.

The Hoyas created a few chances including before the end of regulation, including a header by sophomore forward Gabe Padilla that drew a diving save. In extra time, a turnover outside of the box followed by Arbelaez’s impressive goal resulted in the Georgetown loss.

In spite of the goal, Georgetown freshman goalkeeper Tomas Gomez had a solid five-save debut. Gomez had several diving stops in the first half that denied the Rams almost definite goals.

“Tomas was terrific. He doesn’t look like a freshman,” Wiese said. “He was very calm and made a couple very good saves.”

The Hoyas hope to improve on Monday’s result when they play Radford on Friday at 4 p.m. on North Kehoe Field. Georgetown will then face Stanford on Sunday at 4 p.m. on North Kehoe.

“The game is over with. We can’t think about it too much,” Christianson said. “We have two tough games coming up this week again.”

“Our guys will be refocused pretty quickly here,” Wiese said. “We have to find a way to get a positive result Friday.”

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