Dan Gelfand/The Hoya Senior Carl Skanderup and his teammates on defense held opponents to 1.78 goals per game in his 72 contests with the Hoyas.

As the remaining two teams battled for the Big East Championship in men’s soccer last Sunday in Storrs, Conn., Georgetown was nowhere to be found. Neither were they at the semifinals, or the quarterfinals. For the first time since 1992, the Hoyas did not even qualify for the conference postseason tournament.

Occasionally things came together on the field, yielding a glimmer of the team’s talent and skill, as in the team’s 2-1 overtime upset of Virginia Tech on Sept. 24. More often than not, however, the team failed to maintain a high level of play and finished with an 8-9-2 record for the season and a 3-7-0 record in the conference.

“We were uneven, and that was the big issue throughout the whole season. There weren’t a whole lot of games where there was a consistently high thread of play,” Head Coach Keith Tabatznik said.

The team that struggled at 1-5-0 in the conference a little over halfway through the season did not seem to match the team that started the season. Coming off a Big East tournament semifinal run and graduating only a few players, the Hoyas had all the pieces in place for a strong season. They displayed it at the D.C. College Cup, downing Howard 4-0 and tying a competitive American team 1-1 to take the title.

“After winning the D.C. Cup and playing a fantastic game against American, I don’t think anyone could have predicted at that time that either team might have been struggling as the season went on,” Tabatznik said.

The team maintained the high quality of play going into the UConn/Adidas Classic the following weekend. After falling behind by two goals to No. 5 Indiana, the team rallied for two goals in the last 10 minutes of regulation play to tie the game. The two teams struggled to a tie, 2-2, after two overtimes. Unfortunately, the Hoyas never flew so high again, and soon the losses began to add up. While in the previous seasons Georgetown was able to pull off upsets of top-flight programs, such as Notre Dame and Rutgers, this year the team failed to match up. Despite a solid effort against Virginia Tech, Georgetown fell flat against the conference leaders.

For much of late September and early October, the Hoyas strained to keep themselves afloat while they failed to put a full 90 minutes of quality playing time on the field.

“I don’t think we ever hit a consistent stride, either throughout a game or game to game,” Tabatznik said.

Part of this may be a matter of maturity, as Tabatznik suggested. The team, while more seasoned than last year, still only has four seniors while freshman and sophomores play key roles on both sides of the field. The team did not develop at a rapid pace, leaving the fans to witness the growing pains on the field. This was clearly the case in two games, against Providence and Pittsburgh, in which the team failed to hold onto a lead and spiraled downward as time slipped away.

After the loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers, the Hoyas fell to a 1-5-0 record and stood at the edge of elimination for the postseason. Two key wins against Villanova and Syracuse helped resuscitate the team and put them back into contention. The team missed an opportunity to secure its chances by defeating Seton Hall; the Pirates downed the Hoyas 3-1, putting the season on the line for the final conference game.

In the team’s final Big East matchup, Georgetown battled Connecticut to the final seconds, but not even the large crowd celebrating the team’s 50th anniversary could save it from losing 1-0. With the loss the team could not qualify for the postseason.

Despite the lackluster conference finish, the Hoyas still managed some quality games, inside and outside the conference. They posted five shutouts, against Howard, VMI, Villanova, Navy and Delaware.

A number of individuals also gave continually strong performances. Sophomore defender Jeff Curtin was named to the All-Big East Second Team while junior defender Dan Gargan received a spot on the Third Team. Senior goalkeeper Tim Hogan made 89 saves in his final season for a .774 save percentage. Freshman forward Ricky Schramm led the team on offense and despite having a dry spell midseason he totaled 21 points, including nine goals. The team also lacked two forwards, junior Kaiser Chowdhry and sophomore Kemmons Feldman, who sat on the sidelines with injuries for many games.

Next year, the team has two additions who will immediately have an impact. Junior midfielder Kevin Sindelar, sidelined this season with an injury, will return and Brent Plumley, a junior midfielder who transferred from Penn, will be eligible to play. On top of those two, the Hoyas are looking to recruit at least three new players, especially a backup goalkeeper.

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