If you are a Hoya fan and/or alum and you haven’t gotten The Memo yet, there is a sport on campus that draws crazed supporters well, like, men’s basketball at its best moments. This is NOT news for anyone associated with the program over the past few years, as both men’s and women’s soccer on the Hilltop have garnered national attention and success, and are attracting fans in droves among the student body, alumni and the community.
On Labor Day 2015, the Georgetown men’s soccer team (1-2-1), under the leadership of Coach Brian Wiese, demonstrated why the team deserves all of the attention, and then some, in a very impressive and at times even dominating, performance over the nation’s #1 ranked Bruins of UCLA (1-2-0). Before a sellout crowd on Monday afternoon, the Blue & Gray controlled the ball and pace of play in the first half, and in the second half, played with grit and confidence to hold on for its first victory of the season as well as its first victory over the No. 1 team in the country in program history.
Granted, the Hoyas of Georgetown were ranked pre-season #3, after UCLA and defending national champions UVA. However, the Hoyas got off to a rocky start on the road, first playing to a 0-0 2OT draw with Florida Gulf Coast University (remember them from another sport & year ?), and then falling to (currently 23rd ranked) South Florida Bulls, 2-0. The Hoyas handled adversity with injuries and an uncertain schedule due to Florida hurricane season, and were forced to extend their stay to play the match with USF. However, when the team returned home it faced University of Akron last Friday on Shaw Field and fell, 0-1.
As the fans poured onto Shaw Field on Monday and lined up for tickets and concessions well before the 1pm start time, no one was sure which Hoya team would show up: the pre-season #3 team, or the team that stumbled a bit in the early going this season. By the end of 90 minutes, the answer was clear, the nationally ranked Hoyas are back! Playing without two starters due to injury, including stalwart defender junior All-American defender Joshua Yaro, the Hoyas earned the victory against the talented and speedy Bruins.
For this fan, keys to the game included:
ProminentPlayers of the Game: Freshman Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, from Alamo, Calif./De La Salle high school. Marcinkowski played without any visible nerves of a first year goalie, and came up with several huge saves, including in traffic and in deflecting a sure goal over the crossbar, and showed that he is ready for prime time against the best offenses in the nation. In another first, it was the freshman’s first W on the Hilltop.
A shout out the inspired Hoya attack, especially junior forward Brett Campbell, who entered the game in the 36th minute and within a few minutes hit another first for the team, scoring the first goal of the season for the Hoyas off of a ball from senior defender Keegan Rosenberry. Rosenberry’s pass was deflected to the feet of Campbell who hit the left corner of the net to put the Hoyas in front 1-0.
Early on, the Hoyas had the Bruins back on their heels and controlled the ball and pace of play. At 18 minutes, junior forward Alex Muyl had a breakaway but was taken down just outside the box. In the 29th minute, the Hoyas came up with two big chances off of corner kicks, but couldn’t find the net.
In the second half, the Hoyas soon added to their lead, to 2-0, when sophomore midfielder Arun Basuljevic scored his first goal of the season off of a Brandon Allen free kick.
With the second Hoya goal, the Bruins seemed to come to life and started to showcase their tremendous speed on the front line. However, credit Georgetown with frustrating all Bruin efforts to gain any offensive advantage with all that speed. Nonetheless, UCLA finally managed to get on the board with a goal in the 71st minute as Bruin Jackson Yueill made it 2-1.
While the Bruins wouldn’t fold, Campbell slammed the door shut in the 88th minute with his second goal resulting from a breakaway with Muyl and Allen that was delivered to Campbell on the right side. Campbell beat the UCLA goalkeeper to the left corner to add to the Hoyas advantage, 3-1.
UCLA outshot Georgetown, 14-11, but the Hoyas took five corner kicks to the Bruins’ four. Marcinkowski had six saves on the afternoon, and UCLA’s Juan Cervantes had only two saves in the UCLA loss.
Last but not least, one must credit “The Twelfth Man”, every fan filling every seat at Shaw Field, and surrounding the field on all sides, starting familiar cheers from Hoya-Saxa to “We Are-Georgetown” and teasing the Bruin goalie with some of the “left-right-left” chant well known by hoops fans when an opposing player fouls out and walks to the bench to sit. Only in this case, the goaltender had no time to sit or relax as the relentless Hoya attack kept coming at him.
So, if you happen to be one of those Hoya hoops fans who are counting the days until Midnight Madness, forget that. Get on guhoyas.com, download the men’s and women’s soccer schedules and get out to a game–pronto. Link here: http://www.guhoyas.com/sports/m-soccer/sched/gu-m-soccer-sched.html Cheer on your Georgetown University Hoyas to a national championship. (Among the devoted student supporters are several member of the men’s basketball team, who are certainly excitedly awaiting Midnight Madness and enjoying their highly ranked soccer team this fall.) There is a long way to go but it starts at home with great fan support, get on board! The Hoyas are back in action at Shaw Field on Saturday, September 12 as the squad hosts Radford University at 1 p.m.
The Hoya women’s team take on George Washington at 4pm on Thursday, September 10th and face Virginia Tech on Sunday, September 13th at 1pm both games at home on Shaw Field. Schedule link: http://www.guhoyas.com/sports/w-soccer/sched/gu-w-soccer-sched.html
On a very different and more somber note, we would like to add to the thousands of prayers being said for Georgetown football player Ty Williams, who was injured in the first quarter of Saturday’s game against St. Francis of Pa.
L.F. a/k/a L.P.P.