Consistent with its recent form, the No. 13 Georgetown men’s soccer team (11-2-1, 5-1-0 Big East) used two early goals to cruise to a 3-0 victory over Seton Hall (5-8-1, 2-4-0 Big East) on Saturday afternoon. Senior midfielder and team captain Christopher Lema scored twice for the Hoyas, while freshman forward Derek Dodson added one goal.
With Saturday’s win, the Hoyas remain in possession of first place in the Big East with just three games remaining. The shutout is the team’s third-straight and its fourth in the last five games. The Hoyas seem to be peaking at the right time, but Lema was quick to point out that his team’s work is not done just yet.
“Right now, we’re trying to win the conference and go into the conference tournament and win that as well. That’s our focus,” he said. “We have to always be competitive. Every training session has to be 100 percent. Nobody can slack because we’re a team. At the end of the day, we’re gonna win together.”
The Hoyas dominated possession early, keeping the ball in their offensive half for the majority of the first five minutes. In the eighth minute, freshman midfielder Jacob Montes won a free kick from 25 yards out. Lema stepped up to take the kick, and curled his left-footed attempt to the far post, hitting the top corner to give the Blue & Gray a 1-0 lead.
Less than four minutes later, Montes played a ball to senior forward Declan McCabe at the top of the box. McCabe allowed the ball to pass through his legs and onto the foot of Dodson, who was in stride towards goal. When Seton Hall redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Peyton Elder charged the ball, Dodson chipped it over the keeper and into the net. After just 10 minutes and 52 seconds of play, Georgetown led 2-0.
“There’s never a Big East game that you’re going to be feeling comfortable in. Our history with Seton Hall in the last three to four years has been really, really tough,” Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese said. “There’s always going to be tough moments, but we want to win the first 15 minutes,”
The rest of the half was evenly played, with both teams winning two corners. The Hoyas outshot the Pirates 5-4 in the period, but Seton Hall forced junior goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski to make three saves to Elder’s two.
In the second half, Seton Hall was more aggressive than they had been in the first, but the Pirates were unable to generate any dangerous attacks on goal as the Hoya defense proved stout in its own third. Ten minutes into the half, Lema added another goal, this one a line-drive from the top of the box. Junior midfielder/forward Ethan Lochner made a run down the left side of the pitch and played a cross into the box, which was partially cleared. But the ball fell to Lema’s foot, and the senior drilled the shot towards the far post for his second goal of the day.
“I don’t have to worry much about the defensive aspect of [playing], because I have really good people around me,” Lema said of his recent form. “I don’t have to worry too much about being too offensive. I kind of have that balance and my teammates allow that.”
With a 3-0 cushion and a midweek game on the horizon next Wednesday, Wiese used the rest of the game as a chance to rest his starters. The team’s reserves created several chances offensively, but were unable to find the back of the net. In the end, the Hoyas closed the game out without any threat of conceding a goal.
“This group is really determined. I’m hopeful that we can continue some momentum. It’s fun to be in a spot where the rest of the league is chasing you. Hopefully we can continue that on Wednesday,” said Wiese.
The team will host Providence (4-7-3, 1-2-3 Big East) on Wednesday at 2:00 pm on Shaw Field. The Hoyas can clinch a spot in the conference tournament with at least a draw against the Friars. Follow @GUVoiceSports for live tweeting and coverage of the match. The game will also be streamed on the Big East Digital Network.
Image Credits: Tyler Pearre/The Georgetown Voice