After the first 63 minutes of the Georgetown men’s soccer team’s (5-1-1, 0-1 Big East) Wednesday afternoon game against the visiting Stony Brook Seawolves (5-2-1, American East), it seemed as though the Hoyas had a slim chance of winning. Facing a 2-0 deficit with less than a half an hour to play, however, the team remained calm and turned up the heat offensively en route to a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory. The Hoyas’ game-winning goal was scored by junior defender Peter Schropp, while senior forward Zach Knudson and freshman midfielder Foster McCune each added a goal.
“I don’t think we’re even going to watch the video of that game. It was a really poor game from a performance point of view for us. But there’s some real positives. We went down 2-0 in the second half and were able to come back… It says a lot about this group,” said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese following the win.
Georgetown generated its first scoring chance of the game inside the first minute on a cross attempt, but the shot sailed high of the goal. After that, Georgetown seemed sluggish and out of synch on both sides of the ball. Although Georgetown dominated possession, the Hoyas were unable to generate any offensive momentum. Stony Brook, however, effectively utilized its time of possession to create numerous chances.
The Seawolves’ offensive efficiency was rewarded in the 25th minute, when senior forward Akeem Morris scored on a beautiful curling shot from the top of the box. The senior’s left footed strike looked to be going wide of the net, but found the target just past the outstretched arms of Georgetown junior goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.
Following the goal, Georgetown continued to have the majority of possession, but aside from set pieces the team was unable to generate anything threatening to the Stony Brook defense. Between the absence of sophomore forward Achara, the team’s leading scorer on the year, and the compact defense of Stony Brook, Georgetown did not appear to be in top form.
“(Achara) has really been the point of the spear in our attack,” Wiese said. “He’s a pretty good example of when you remove the point of a spear, you have to hit people over the head with the broad side of a stick.”
“The game today showed really tired legs. We have a lot of really good players just playing slow. But I just think we’re at that point in the season where we just need rest,” he added.
After the intermission, Georgetown continued to attack, but was unable to crack the strong Stony Brook back line. A frustrating offensive effort was made worse in the 64th minute when graduate student defender Eric McKenna scored a header off a Stony Brook set piece. The ball was played deep behind the Georgetown defense to the far post, where McKenna headed the ball low in Marcinkowski’s direction. The goalkeeper was able to get his hands on the ball, but couldn’t fully secure the save, resulting in a 2-0 lead for the visitors.
It didn’t take Georgetown long to answer, however. In the 66th minute, freshman midfielder Foster McCune sent a cross into the box from 35 yards out. The freshman’s cross bent sharply in the air, catching Stony Brook sophomore goalkeeper Jacob Braham off guard. The cross found the top left corner to make the score 2-1.
“Once that goal went in, we kind of saw Stony Brook’s heads go down and we knew it was our time. We just kept throwing numbers forward and we got a second goal,” Schropp said.
With their lead cut in half, Stony Brook packed their defense in, hoping to hold on for victory. Until the 88th minute, this strategy worked well for the Seawolves. But when Georgetown senior midfielder Declan McCabe shot from the 12 yard spot. The ball was blocked by Braham, but the ball continued to roll towards the goal. Knudson pounced on the loose ball and finished the play on the empty net, tying the game with less than two minutes to play.
In the overtime period, another loose ball turned into a Georgetown goal in the 97th minute. A series of Georgetown shots from inside the box were blocked, but a deflection landed at the feet of Schropp, who slotted home the game winning goal from five yards out.
“I got a little lucky there — the ball just fell to my feet,” Schropp said.
“The guys were resilient today,” Wiese said. “They knew they weren’t playing well. I think they just kept pushing and found a way to get some goals. So, at the end of the day, everyone’s pretty happy.”
Georgetown will have to recover quickly from their win, as they travel to Chicago on Saturday for a date with DePaul (3-4-1, 0-0-1 Big East) at 4:00 pm. With a tired team on hand and important conference game on the horizon, Wiese is aware of the game’s significance.
“We’re going to have to be much better than we were today to have any chance,” he said. “If we can get a road result anywhere in the league, it’s important to us. I think it’s important to get ourselves up and running in the league.”
Image Credits: Georgetown Sports Information