The back four that recorded the Hoyas’ best defensive start in the program’s history has been dealt a blow – sophomore right back Ibukun Otegbeye will be out for the remainder of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Otegbeye tore his ACL at last Wednesday’s practice, just two days before the Blue and Gray’s Big East home-opener against the University of South Florida.

“It’s obviously a crushing loss because [Otegbeye] comes in and does so well as part of the back four, which has been doing a terrific job,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “My heart goes out to him because of how hard he’s worked to get to that position, but I know he’ll rebound pretty well and come through another road for next year.”

Wiese will need to find a quick replacement for the fast-paced, attack-minded sophomore who has already contributed two assists to the team’s 13 goals and who has become a regular starter on the backline, securing a spot on the starting roster in five of the six games played in the season thus far.

Otegbeye was replaced by sophomore Mostafa Ebrahimnejad in the starting lineup in both games this weekend. Ebrahimnejad had started in one of the first six games of the season, and started all 19 games at outside back last year. Wiese said that Ebrahimnejad and the back four would have to readjust to each other’s style of play again, but that the chemistry would come in a matter of a few games.

“Things like these give opportunities for somebody else to come in and step up and do the job,” Wiese said, “and hopefully we’ll be able to do that. But it will be a big loss, no question.”

– Hijab Shah

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