MEN'S SOCCER | Hoyas Lose Second Straight
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 15:10
After a few tough breaks, the third-ranked Georgetown men’s soccer team (10-2-1, 2-2-0 Big East) might have deserved a better result than its eventual 2-1 defeat on Wednesday against No. 2 UConn.
According to Head Coach Brian Wiese, the same could have been argued in the case of the Hoyas’ 3-0 apparent shellacking at the hands of Notre Dame Saturday in South Bend.
“You play two of the best teams in the country over a given week, and you can actually play well both games and be 0-2, which I think is in a lot of ways what happened,” Wiese said.
“Notre Dame has been the toughest game on our schedule—playing at their place is never going to be an easy game to win. [However,] I think the scoreline flattered Notre Dame, for how the game went.”
That final score would appear to be a decisive one, but an early goal by the Irish (10-2-0, 2-2-0 Big East) forced Georgetown’s tactical hand, resulting in more pressing offensively that led to breakdowns in its defensive half of the field.
The hosts got on the board less than eight minutes in after earning the first corner kick of the contest. Junior goalkeeper Keon Parsa ran out to pick off the service but failed to claim the ball, leaving an empty net that Notre Dame used to take a 1-0 lead.
The Blue and Gray settled in after that, thoroughly dominating possession and generating a number of good looks on goal.
Senior midfielder Andy Riemer found the underside of the crossbar on one attempt, freshman midfielder Melvin Snoh hit the post on a header and junior forward Steve Neumann had one of his efforts barely cleared off the goal line by an opposing defender.
“[If] any of these chances go in,” Wiese said, “it’s a completely different game.”
Instead, Georgetown was left chasing a high-quality conference opponent on the road, never an easy task.
And when the goals weren’t coming, the Blue and Gray were forced out of their shell a little bit more to try to find the equalizer, a gamble that didn’t end up paying off.
In fact, it would instead be Notre Dame that added to its total, as the Irish scored two goals in quick succession — both in the 66th minute, a feat made possible by college soccer’s clock stoppage rules — to put the game firmly out of reach.
Afterwards, though, Wiese warned against reading too much into Saturday’s three-goal margin.
“Really, when you step back and watch the video, we actually did okay,” he said. “We put ourselves in a hole with a bad goal, and we’re telling our guys, [when] you play good teams like that, [you have to] make them earn their goals. They can [score] on their own, so we’ve got to stop handing out charity to our opponents, and I think we’ll be alright.”
“I feel good with where we are, and I think if you had asked me about this phase of the season before the season began, ‘You’re 10-2-1 — would you be happy with that?’ I’d say yeah, probably, with the schedule we play,” Wiese added. “That’s a really good record. I think we’re in a pretty good spot [because] we’ve got everything to play for. With five games to play, we still control a lot of our own destiny.”
Georgetown has a good chance to right the ship this afternoon when they take on Lehigh (1-9, 0-3-0 Patriot League) in its final non-conference match of the regular season.
The game could potentially be a trap, however, with the Mountain Hawks' one win on the season being a 1-0 victory on Sept. 25 over Penn State; the Nittany Lions fell by the same goal differential — that time, 2-1 — at North Kehoe Field earlier in the season.
It may be a break from the rigors of Big East play, but Wiese has made it clear to his team that it will not at all be a break in general.
“It’s a vital game from an RPI point of view [and] from a confidence point of view, to get some guys up and running,” he said. “We have plenty of respect for what Lehigh is. They’re not a 1-9 team. They don’t have the horses that UConn and Notre Dame had — there’s no question about that — but we have to be very careful that we come in with the right mentality, or else we’ll be on a three-game losing streak.”
Kickoff against Lehigh is scheduled for today at 3 p.m. at North Kehoe Field.