On a windy Saturday afternoon at Shaw Field, the No. 14 Georgetown men’s soccer team (7-1-1, 2-1-0 Big East) defeated the visiting Marquette Golden Eagles (1-7-1, 1-2-0 Big East), 2-1. Georgetown was aided by goals from junior midfielder/forward Ethan Lochner and senior midfielder Declan McCabe, while Marquette junior forward Diego Nuñez scored for the visitors.
With the win, Georgetown will move into either second or third place in the conference standings, as current front-runners St. John’s (5-3-1, 2-0-0 Big East) and No. 22 Butler (6-2-0, 2-0-0 Big East) will play at 7:00 pm on Saturday. Should that game end in a draw, Georgetown will move into third. A victory for either team, however, would propel Georgetown to second place. Marquette remains in the bottom third of the table after the loss.
The Hoyas came out of the gates hot on offense. The Blue and Gray pressed Marquette up and down the field, forcing several turnovers. Georgetown found success down the right wing of the field, thanks to defensive efforts from sophomore forward Dylan Nealis and smart passing from senior midfielder Christopher Lema. After creating several chances without scoring, Georgetown found its breakthrough goal in the ninth minute, when Lochner scored a rebound opportunity on an empty goal. Freshman forward Derek Dodson played a ball into freshman midfielder Jacob Montes, who took a shot from 15 yards out. Montes’s shot was saved by Marquette redshirt freshman Noah Heim. The ball then fell to Lochner’s feet, who slotted it home to give the Hoyas a 1-0 lead.
“We had a lot stuff going down the right side, and I was kind of just chilling on the left,” said Lochner. “I just knew that the more we put in the ball, eventually something was going to pop up. So, I just stuck myself next to the keeper… and it was just right there for the tap-in.”
Georgetown did not have long to savor their well-deserved goal, as the Golden Eagles responded with a goal of their own just 32 seconds later. Georgetown’s defense was caught passing the ball in their third of the field, and an unforced turnover led to an open chance for Nuñez from close-range. The forward rifled his shot past Georgetown junior goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski to even the score.
“It was just kind of a mental error,” said junior defender Peter Schropp. “Sometimes you try to just get a little too fancy with it, and something like that happened. I think we responded well to it. We were resilient.”
This resiliency paid off, as the Blue and Gray continued to press defensively, leading to the team’s second goal of the day in the 16th minute. A through ball was played to McCabe from Montes down the center of the pitch. In a one-on-one with Heim, McCabe placed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net, regaining the Georgetown lead.
For the remainder of the half, Georgetown pressed Marquette into repetitive turnovers, leading to fast break opportunities. Sophomore forward Achara, who played for the first time since injuring his knee on September 9, was the beneficiary of multiple through balls. Unfortunately for the Hoyas, the passes were either not weighted properly or their shots were off the mark.
“We got some amazing turnovers that we just needed to be a little better with,” Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “I think we lacked a little bit of sharpness in different areas as well. Playing at home, I would like to see us be a little better executing some basic parts of our game that we were hit or miss on today.”
At the half, Georgetown held a 2-1 advantage. The Blue and Gray outshot Marquette 7-3 in the period, though the teams won an even three corner kicks apiece.
In the second half, Marquette was more aggressive on the offensive end. The Golden Eagles held possession much more than in the first half and recorded five shots after the break. In the 78th minute, a dangerous Marquette cross was played behind Marcinkowski, but a headed clearance by Schropp saved a sure Golden Eagle goal. Five minutes later, a brilliant Georgetown counterattack was thwarted by a fingertip save from Heim. From there, Georgetown held on for the victory.
Georgetown will host Butler next Saturday, Oct. 6, at Shaw Field. The game will kick off at 3:00 pm and can be streamed on the Big East Digital Network.
Image Credits: Tyler Pearre/The Georgetown Voice