The Georgetown men’s soccer team (2-5, 1-0 Big East) succeeded in its first Big East game, managing to finish with a 1-0 victory over the Providence Friars (4-3, 0-1 Big East), despite the Friars’ outshooting the visiting Hoyas 16 shots to 11.
Saturday marked an important day for Georgetown men’s soccer, as it buoyed a lackluster start to the season.
The team’s lone goal came in the 54th minute off a free kick taken by junior midfielder Christopher Lema that senior forward and co-captain Brett Campbell was able to lift the Hoyas over the Friars.
“I thought Brett Campbell had one of his better games for us, which is good to see because I think he’s put a lot of pressure on himself as a senior and a captain and I think that was weighing on him,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “I think Saturday night was him looking like his old self, for lack of a better term, and I think he feels pretty good about that, so hopefully we can see more of that from him going forward.”
Wiese said that coming out of the first conference game with a win is a confidence booster for his Hoyas, and that the win means much more to the team than the simple three points on the scoresheet.
“It’s huge, I mean to get off on the right foot in the league is always a really good feeling, I think it’s really hard to do,” Wiese said. “I think the league is really interesting this year in that it is wide open, there are a lot of teams that could win it.”
This open field means that each win is vital, no matter how it is secured. “It was always going to be a hard game. You’d always say, well, your best case scenario is you win a game 3-0 or 4-0, but against a team like Providence, on the road, it’s just not realistic, I don’t care who you are,” Wiese said.
Wiese also noted the newly constructed stadium in Providence, one he described as among the nicest in the country. This contributed to a high-pressure atmosphere for the Hoyas, but it was one they were prepared to face.
“The schedule had us at Akron, at Maryland, in games that are designed to simulate what this game was like,” Wiese said. “When we go to Creighton at the end of the year, there’s going to be a very similar atmosphere to it, and the guys were really well-prepared for that from even just earlier in the season.”
This mental strength has been extremely important for the Hoyas, whose games have all been decided by a one-goal margin, meaning that the team has to maintain its maximum intensity for the entire 90-minute game.
Wiese said these close margins are a product of the difficulty of teams the Hoyas have faced and will continue to face in Big East play.
“The reality is the nature of the schedule has you playing against a team like Providence who just doesn’t concede a lot of goals [at home]. On Saturday, you’re playing a team in Xavier [3-2-2, 1-0 Big East] who is a defensively really disciplined, hard team, so they don’t concede a lot of shots. Even so, if we can take a 1-0 win over Xavier, we’d be over-the-moon happy about that,” Wiese said.
The team managed to notch a victory despite the absence of freshman forward Achara, who has been injured since Georgetown’s game against Virginia Tech (6-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast), and who has since had to sit out three games. Wiese remarked that the team has been doing a very good job of filling this gap.
“I think from our point of view there were a lot of really good performances. I thought [junior forward] Zach Knudson, up front for us, while he didn’t generate a goal or an assist, was really important, and I think he had comfortably his best game as a Hoya,” Wiese said.
While several performances stood out, it was a team effort that ultimately allowed the Hoyas to secure the win.
“In general, for where we’ve been in the early part of the season with a lot of these really hard, really tight results, to see that kind of resolve, to see out a game properly and to find a way to get a win like that was good,” Wiese said.
The team looks to take this confidence and success with it as it prepares to face Xavier at home Saturday at 1 p.m.
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