MEN'S SOCCER | Hampered by Injuries, Hoyas Fall 2-1
Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 01:10
On Saturday, Georgetown battled injuries against Xavier (6-5-2, 2-2-0 Big East) but was unable to find a win in Cincinnati. Two unanswered goals, both by junior midfielder Will Walker, led Xavier to a 2-1 win over No. 11 Georgetown (9-3-1, 2-1-1 Big East). The Hoyas’ lone goal was scored by sophomore forward Brandon Allen midway through the first half.
Georgetown seemed to have the advantage in the opening 45 minutes, winning four corner kicks and forcing three saves from Xavier’s goalkeeper. After 30 minutes of scoreless play, Allen put the Hoyas on top with a hard shot to the lower right for his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Senior captain and forward Steve Neumann left the game shortly afterward, playing for only three minutes during the rest of the match. The score looked like it would hold until the half, but a long pass from junior defender Garrett Halfhill found Walker, who touched the ball past junior goalkeeper Tomas Gomez for the equalizer.
“The goal they scored right before the first half was one of the most amazing, fluky things you will ever see,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “And suddenly, it’s 1-1 going into halftime.”
Xavier dominated the second half as Georgetown struggled to find its groove on offense. The Hoyas looked tame; they took only one shot, compared to seven by the Musketeers and did not win a single corner kick. In the 74th minute, a series of quick passes inside the 18-yard box resulted in Walker’s second goal. The home team limited Georgetown to just one shot, which was easily saved by senior goalkeeper Eric Osswald during the last 16 minutes of the game. The loss dropped Georgetown to a fourth place tie with No. 12 Creighton with five conference games left on the schedule.
“It’s such a difficult task to get wins on the road. You have to have everything right; you have to have everything perfect. It felt like just one of those nights,” Wiese said.
During the rest of the season, injuries could play a major role for the Hoyas. On Monday, freshman defender Joshua Yaro had surgery for a broken arm and did not travel with the team. The starting center back should be back in the lineup before the end of the season, but no timetable for his return exists for now. Neumann suffered a concussion against Xavier and could not continue playing. His status for the match tomorrow will be a game-time decision. A pair of senior defenders, Ted Helfrich and Nick Van Hollen, will bring key depth to the back line this Saturday in their first game back. They both suffered concussions against Seton Hall.
At 1 p.m. on Saturday, Georgetown will play the Butler Bulldogs (9-3-1, 3-1-0 Big East) on Shaw Field. No. 18 Butler is also 9-3-1 this season but has a superior 3-1-0 record in the Big East. Key wins this season include games against No. 7 Louisville and Indiana, the defending national champion. In its game against Indiana, Butler scored twice during the last five minutes to force overtime.
“It is as formidable a game as we will have seen on our schedule so far,” Wiese said. “It’s one we hope we have a good set of healthy bodies on.”
The staunch Georgetown defense will look to get back on track against Butler despite missing Yaro, whom Wiese calls “maybe the best defender in the Big East.” The next shutout recorded by the Hoyas will tie the school record at 10, improving a number that is already the best in Division I soccer. This year, freshman forward David Goldsmith has scored nine times for the Bulldogs, including the game-tying and game-winning goals against Indiana. Freshman forward Jeff Adkins leads the team with seven assists. Both will look to break down a Hoya defense that is averaging half a goal allowed per game this season.
Butler, on the other hand, has given up 15 goals in just 13 games. Georgetown’s offense, led by Allen and Neumann, should have opportunities against a Butler defense that has asked its goalkeepers to make 60 saves this season. If Neumann’s concussion keeps him out of the game, then the starting lineup could include junior midfielder Tom Skelly or freshman forward Brett Campbell.
Wiese knows that, with the season winding down, a win against Butler bears increasing significance for post-season play.
“They’re two points ahead of us in the [Big East] table, so that’s all you have to know.”