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Soccer’s undefeated run ends, fall to UConn
The Georgetown men’s soccer team (10-1-1, 2-1-0 Big East) began the week ranked seventh and third respectively in the TDS and NSCAA polls, the highest positions ever achieved by the program. This was accomplished through the best start in program history, in which the Hoyas did not lose in their first 11 games, their only draw being a one-to-one double-overtime affair against the University of Wisconsin.
However, this streak came to an end after a controversial, hard-fought game against the No. 2 ranked Connecticut Huskies. The game, heavily contested and mildly marred by officiating controversy, ended in a 2-1 loss for the Hoyas.
Head Coach Brian Wiese said of the game’s questionable plays, “These guys have handled the intangibles very well this year,” said Head Coach Brian Wiese of the game’s questionable officiating. “The referee, whenever you’re partial, you’re always yelling at the referee, no matter how good or bad the calls are. There are a couple things that we would have liked to have gone differently. I think the non-call on the second goal, as a former goalkeeper, is something you would like to see called and as a former goalkeeper, you probably should handle that a little bit better, but that’s a judgment call. Our goalie’s going up for it and he gets hit, and the question is, is it a fair challenge or is it not, and to be honest, nine out of ten times, it’s called. I was happiest with how we responded to being down 2-0 with 25 minutes left against a team like UConn. We kept going, we scored a great goal, their goalkeeper made a terrific save off the near post and the guys showed a lot of spirit.“
The game was scoreless for the first 38 minutes, until Connecticut forward Mamadou Diouf scored on a free kick. UConn struck again in the 64th minute, when Allando Matheson scored on a header off a corner kick. The quickly Hoyas found the back of the net in the 66th minute, when senior midfielder Andy Reimer scored his sixth goal of the year. However, the squad could not find an equalizer, despite pressure throughout the second half.
Senior captain and midfielder Ian Christianson, though, was able to put the season in perspective.
“This was the best start to a season in program history, so it was great to be a part of that,” he said. “But we’re still hungry, and we want to go to South Bend and get a win.”
The Hoyas outshot the Huskies 18-14, but struggled to find a way past the nation’s top goalkeeper, Andre Blake. Blake made seven saves, six in the hotly contested first half.
“I thought the guys responded really well,” Wiese said. “We just ran out of time, ran out of legs. It’s hard to chase the game like that, but we created plenty against a really good UConn team. I think they conceded three goals in ten games coming into this one. We replay this one, maybe we score two or three if the finishing is a little better, but again, they’re a complete team.”
The Hoyas need to recover quickly, with a matchup at powerhouse Notre Dame this weekend which will headline the remainder of the season, which contains more challenges from the Big East, including a meeting with No. 8 Marquette at North Kehoe on Oct. 13.
“I told them, you have to act like this is a long weekend. You have Notre Dame on Saturday. We’re going to have a recovery day tomorrow. We’re not even going to touch a ball as a team,” said Wiese. “This group, so far, has been really mature. We have a great group of seniors who have handled things really well, so we expect to be ready for Saturday. It’s an important one to bounce back on.”