MEN’S SOCCER No. 2 Red Storm Shuts Out Hoyas Georgetown 0-1 in Big East By Chris Cariello Hoya Staff Writer

Charles Nailen/The Hoya Sophomore forward Joseph Paden, shown here in action last week, will look to help the Hoyas get a Big East win against West Virginia tomorrow.

Despite a strong effort on Sunday against the second-ranked St. John’s Red Storm in Jamaica, N.Y., the Georgetown men’s soccer team fell 1-0 on a second half goal by freshman midfielder Simone Sallino. The goal was scored in the 71st minute of the game and while the Hoyas had chances in the final minutes, they were unable to score the equalizer.

While the game was dominated by St. John’s, the Hoyas’ showing was encouraging as Big East conference play begins to intensify. The Hoyas dropped to a record of 2-3-1 with a 0-1 mark in Big East play.

Head Coach Keith Tabatznik said that while it was a “tough game, the team’s performance was encouraging.”

St. John’s controlled the game from the outset as their defense and midfield controlled the ball, keeping it away from Georgetown. Neither team had a clear scoring chance as the Georgetown defense remained strong throughout the first half. St. John’s began to apply more pressure in the second half as senior Jeff Matteo hit the post with a free kick. Things remained deadlocked until the 70:35 mark of the second half when Sallino gathered a rebound off of a Georgetown defender and then blasted a shot from 18 yards out past keeper Brian O’Hagan.

While Georgetown pressed in the final minutes to force overtime, their shots were denied by junior goalkeeper Guy Hertz. The Hoyas were out-shot 4-1 in the first half and 11-3 for the game.

One major factor in St. John’s dominance could very well have been their playing surface.

“Not only is turf a difficult surface to adjust to, St. John’s turf is particularly hard and fast,” Tabatznik said.

In contrast to Georgetown’s home and practice fields, which are both grass, the Hoya midfielders had a difficult time maintaining possession of the ball, as they did against St. Peter’s, on the quick turf. Meanwhile, St. John’s seemed right at home, patiently passing the ball around

calculating an attack. While Tabatznik was dismayed at how many balls his defense was forced to win, he was very impressed by the team’s hustle and the grit shown by his back four and O’Hagan.

Tabatznik was impressed by his team’s “good focus” and described the game as being very close as “each team really only had one good chance.”

Georgetown struggled to stay with the St. John’s elusive plays, fouling 27 times to the Red Storm’s 13. Meanwhile, the Red Storm displayed why they are ranked so highly by patiently waiting for the chance to strike, taking advantage, and then holding the opposition at bay for the victory.

Despite the undesirable result, Tabatznik believes his team is in the right place to begin conference play. Aside from several injuries and a starting lineup that is not yet completely solidified, the team seems poised to begin their run in the Big East. Due to several early-season overtime games, the Hoyas’ fitness level is quite high, and despite Saturday’s loss, the team is optimistic.

“The guys should feel good about their performance,” Tabatznik said, “but they know that now that we are in conference play we need points. Every game is tough in the Big East and points don’t come easy.”

Instead of charging for admission to the game, St. John’s requested a donation to the University’s Eddie Williams emorial Scholarship Fund, which benefits the children of deceased New York City firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty.

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