Charles Nailen/The Hoya Junior midfielder David Eder lines up a pass. Eder and his teammates had a quiet afternoon against St. John’s, getting off just two shots.

The Georgetown men’s soccer team, for the first time this season, could not match the skill level of its opponent and resoundingly fell to No. 7 St. John’s 3-0 in Queens, N.Y. The loss marks an inauspicious beginning to the Hoya’s Big East season, as the team falls to 0-1-0 in the conference and 1-2-2 for the season.

“It was a great performance by St. John’s. They played really well and obviously dominated in all areas of the game,” head coach Keith Tabatznik said.

St. John’s took control of the games from the beginning and never let up. Playing on Belson Stadium under the lights and with nearly 1,200 spectators backing them, the Red Storm came out with a strong offensive attack and generated a number of early chances to score. In the fourth minute, it looked like Georgetown would give up a goal within the first five minutes for the third consecutive game. Junior forward Matt Groenwald passed the ball to junior midfielder Chris Corcoran, who blasted a shot from outside that ended up going wide.

After a few more missed chances, the Red Storm finally connected in the 13th minute after Hoya freshman defenseman Tim Convey was called for a penalty. Senior midfielder Simone Salinno fired the ball from 24 yards out, sending it into the far lower post for the goal. Neither side would score again during the remainder of the first half. Georgetown only managed one shot, as compared with St. John’s nine.

The Hoyas would only fare worse in the second half as Red Storm junior forward Ryan Kelly put away two goals in under ten minutes and dashed the hopes of the visiting team for a comeback. Kelly nabbed his first goal after 63 minutes of play on a throw in, receiving the ball and setting up a shot just past the near post that Georgetown senior goalkeeper Tim Hogan could not reach. Eight minutes later, Kelly repeated his feat by taking a pass from a teammate and dribbling the ball down to set up a one-on-one with Hogan. Kelly sent the ball past Hogan to notch St. John’s third goal which riled up the home crowd.

St. John’s kept on with the attack, and a fourth goal was later recalled after an offside call. The Red Storm managed to fire off ten shots during the second half while the Hoyas managed one shot on goal, from sophomore defender Dan Pydo.

“I think that we did not do a good job of winning second balls and loose balls. At the end of the day, that was the biggest key. St. John’s won them over and over again,” Tabatznik said.

When the clock ran out, St. John’s picked up its third consecutive victory, each of them over tough Big East adversaries. The Red Storm’s consistently strong play in the span of a week has sent them up the national rankings and reaffirmed their status as one of the nation’s best teams. Their current record is 3-2 for the season and 3-0 in the Big East.

“This was the only game where we’ve been completely outplayed, so it’s nothing to push a panic button over,” Tabatznik said.

While graduate student goalkeeper Guy Hertz gets the shutout, his Georgetown counterpart Tim Hogan gave a strong effort, making seven saves, and helped minimize the damage inflicted by the St. John’s talented attackers. Hogan played for almost 87 minutes before freshman replacement Andrew Keszler came in to finish out the game.

“Hogan made some very good saves, but that’s what a goalie is supposed to do,” Tabatznik said.

For the first time, Georgetown had to admit total defeat. While the team has played consistently and on a par with their past opponents this season, the Red Storm outperformed the team offensively and defensively. St. John’s outshot Georgetown 19-2, the most lopsided statistic the team has seen this fall. The game, like most Big East matchups, featured a lot of physical play, as demonstrated by the combined 35 fouls committed by the teams.

Georgetown returns to action today to face Towson University. Last year Towson handed Georgetown a close defeat in the second overtime in Maryland. This time, the Tigers will have to travel to North Kehoe Field to see if the Hoyas can extract some revenge now that the squad has a year’s worth of experience under its belt. The contest kicks off at 3 p.m. Georgetown plays its next Big East opponent on Friday when the team travels up to Boston to face the Boston College Eagles, another formidable foe.

After this weekend’s sobering experience, the Hoyas now know firsthand how they need to perform in order to compete against the conference’s best, a lesson the team fortunately can learn as this season only begins to unfold.

“I hope the team understands how important it is to get back into the type of rhythm that we were playing for the first few games of this season,” Tabatznik said.

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