JULIA HENRIKAS/THE HOYA Senior midfielder Austin Martz assisted on Georgetown’s only goal of Thursday’s game. Martz has two assists in five starts this season.
JULIA HENRIKAS/THE HOYA
Senior midfielder Austin Martz assisted on Georgetown’s only goal of Thursday’s game. Martz has two assists in five starts this season.

The No. 6 Georgetown men’s soccer team played its third overtime game out of five overall matches Thursday, picking up its first loss of the young season. The Hoyas (2-1-2) dropped the match 2-1 to the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams (3-2) after Rams senior forward Jose Manel dribbled around Hoyas senior goalkeeper and captain Tomas Gomez, sliding the ball into the back of the net.

The most impactful aspect of the game was not any single play or performance, but rather factors beyond both teams’ control. The temperature at game time was a humid 89 degrees, and a number of players on both sides struggled with the heat. Frequent substitutions were not enough to prevent the match from becoming both sluggish and mistake-filled at times.

Unpunished hard fouls also played a large role, as numerous times the referee kept his whistle in his pocket heavily influenced the outcome of the game. Junior forward Brandon Allen had to briefly leave the game after a VCU tackle injured him in the penalty box. Georgetown’s shouts for a penalty were disregarded. In overtime, confusion on a VCU substitution led to a brief period of play with 12 men on the field.

“It just was not managed all that well by the officials, to be fair,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “But I don’t think it had anything to do with the outcome of the game. It was more of a distraction.”

Georgetown’s lone goal came in the 50th minute when senior midfielder Austin Martz collected the ball in his own half on the right side of the field and made a long darting run in open space toward the goal. A series of passes between Martz and Allen followed before Allen found space at the top of the 18-yard box and found the back of the net.

“When you are in a game that is 0-0 and you want to start the half fast and get on top of a team right away, those are the type of opportunities [you need],” Martz said. “Fortunately, they backed off enough that when I got space I could go at them.”

Allen’s goal was one of 18 shots on the day for the Hoyas and one of 12 in the second half. These shots forced five saves from the Rams, including a point-blank stop by Rams redshirt junior goalkeeper Garrett Cyprus on a shot by Allen in the 72nd minute. Even shots that did not end up on goal represented golden opportunities. In the 34th minute, junior midfielder Melvin Snoh shot over an open net after Cyprus allowed a rebound on a shot by sophomore forward Alex Muyl. A near identical play occurred in the 49th minute, when sophomore midfielder Bakie Goodman missed a chance that opened up when Cyprus charged the ball, leaving him out of position.

JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Sophomore forward Alex Muyl helped Georgetown retain possesion for much of its match against VCU on Thursday. Despite a goal from Muyl’s striking partner, junior forward Brandon Allen, the Hoyas fell 2-1 at home.
JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA
Sophomore forward Alex Muyl helped Georgetown retain possesion for much of its match against VCU on Thursday. Despite a goal from Muyl’s striking partner, junior forward Brandon Allen, the Hoyas fell 2-1 at home.

Both of the Rams’ goals came largely against the run of play and without significant buildup. Redshirt junior forward Devon Fisher tied the game at 1-1 in the 79th minute with a long-range shot from near the sideline that took a deflection and made it past a diving Gomez, nestling inside the far post. The winning goal followed a period of play in which Georgetown dominated, with the team holding a majority of possession and playing with confidence.

“The result clouds a lot, obviously, but I thought that [the team] handled the second half really well, and certainly the first 20 minutes. This is the nature of the schedule. When you play, you are not going to go through without losing a game, unfortunately,” Wiese said.

Despite the difficult loss, both Wiese and Martz have turned their attention to Sunday’s matchup against No. 9 UC Irvine (4-0). The Anteaters are undefeated entering the game but have yet to play a ranked team this season. They were pushed to the limit by an improving West Virginia team in Morgantown, W. Va. UC Irvine escaped with a win thanks to three goals in a 14-minute stretch that allowed them to win the game 3-2. The team looks to be the Hoyas’ biggest challenge since playing reigning national champions No. 4 Notre Dame last week. However, UC Irvine is currently playing without highly touted sophomore midfielder Mario Ortiz, who has not yet played this season. Georgetown players are looking forward to Sunday, rather than dwelling on Thursday’s defeat.

“It is important that we start taking care of our bodies, we eat well, we hydrate well and just start thinking about getting a win on Sunday. We have got to put this behind us,” Martz said.

Georgetown will play UC Irvine on Sunday at home on Shaw Field. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m.

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