The Georgetown men’s soccer team (3-0, Big East) beat the nine-man Cal Poly Mustangs 3-1 (0-3, Big West) on Friday at Shaw Field. Sophomore forward Achara scored two goals for the Hoyas and freshman forward Derek Dodson put the game on ice with a header in the second half. Junior forward Sean Goode scored the lone goal for the Mustangs.
The Hoyas stormed out of the gates with a strong press against the Mustangs, resulting in a goal in the first ten minutes. Junior midfielder/forward Ethan Lochner played a ball over the top of the defense to Achara, who held off the Cal Poly defender to poke the ball past Cal Poly junior goalkeeper Simon Boehme into the bottom right corner to open the scoring.
“There’s a cursing and a blessing to get that early goal,” said Head Coach Brian Wiese. “The early goal kind of settles you and it’s good, but you can also get a little complacent at times when you get an early goal like that.”
The Hoyas were far from complacent. A flurry of Georgetown possession followed Achara’s opening strike, although it only forced one save from Boehme in the form of a shot from distance by freshman midfielder Jacob Montes. It wasn’t until the 21st minute that the Hoya pressure paid dividends again.
From a Mustangs goal kick, Montes won the ball near midfield and played the ball forward to the Nigerian forward. Achara took his first touch in front of him, used his blistering pace for his second touch to beat the center back to the ball and round Boehme, and the third to finish with his left foot into the empty net to make the game 2-0.
After giving up the second goal, Cal Poly pressed forward to put some pressure on junior goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski’s goal. The Hoyas failed to clear a long throw in that landed in the box, which Goode turned home. The shot benefitted from a deflection off of sophomore defender Dylan Nealis’ leg, wrong-footing the already diving Marcinkowski.
The play became more physical as the half dwindled to a close, with two of Georgetown’s three forwards, Lochner and Achara, finishing the half with a caution.
“We picked up four yellow cards, and I would term three of them as silly,” said Wiese. “Three of the four yellow cards were not just in the run of the game; it was a response, it was a frustration, and they’ve got to be a little better with that.”
The second half began with the same physicality as the first. In the 51st minute, Cal Poly freshman defender Freeman Dwamena and Georgetown senior forward Zach Knudson receiving yellow cards after an off the ball scuffle. Four minutes later, Achara’s turn in the offensive third prompted Dwamena to pull him back, earning a second yellow for stopping a promising attack and reducing the Mustangs to ten men.
The Hoyas profited from the man advantage, forcing Boehme into a flurry of impressive saves, including a full-stretch grab from a Knudson shot from range and a point blank save to deny Achara a hat trick.
The strain on the Mustang’s goal gave in the 73rd minute, with junior midfielder Kyle Zajec playing a looping cross into the box. Boehme reacted late to the cross and couldn’t beat Dodson to the cross, who headered over the punching arm of Boehme into the open net for his first goal of the season.
It took more acrobatic saves from Boehme to keep the scoreline respectable, especially after freshman defender Andrew Forth received a red card for denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity as he took down Dodson from behind on the edge of the 18 yard box.
The Hoyas amassed 25 shots against the Mustangs’ eight in a dominant performance on Friday and seemed to be in the Cal Poly half for most of the match.
Georgetown looks to keep up the momentum as they host No. 15 UCLA (1-1, PAC-12) for Millennial Day on Monday at noon, expecting a tougher test.
“UCLA’s a great team, so the three wins before that don’t mean anything when playing them,” said Zajec.
Image Credits: Georgetown Sports Information