The No. 18 Georgetown men’s soccer team (12-3-2) will host the St. John’s Red Storm (9-6-3) on Wednesday at Shaw Field for the Big East semifinal matchup. The Hoyas are seeded second, while the Red Storm are seeded third. The game will begin at 1:00 pm.
Georgetown last played Wednesday at home against Creighton, winning 3-1 with goals from freshman forwards Derek Dodson and Jack Beer. The win last Wednesday secured them a bye in the quarterfinals, giving them time to rest and prepare for the semifinals. St. John’s also played their most recent game against Creighton, when they took them on in the Big East quarterfinals on Saturday. The Red Storm won 3-1 at home, with goals from sophomore forward Matt Forster and sophomore midfielder Alistair Johnston.
“To not have to play over the weekend was really important. You can see there’s a lot more energy and life to the guys,” Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese said. “They just needed that break mentally and physically, so that was really nice to have. Some of the guys also needed a little bit of time to recover from injury.”
This game will serve as somewhat of a redemption match for the Hoyas. Just over a week ago, they dropped a tight 1-0 game to the Red Storm in Queens. Senior defender David Enstrom scored the lone goal. This time, Georgetown will have the home field advantage
“Playing them at home vs. playing them away has a little different feel to it,” Wiese said. “Hopefully, we’re able to take advantage of our home ground for this one.”
Wiese also noted the danger presented by senior midfielder Harry Cooksley. Cooksley earned Big East Midfielder of the Year honors, and tied for the conference lead in assists with eight. Overall, Cooksley is the key to the team’s success, so if Georgetown can figure out how to slow him down, they will have a much easier time against St. John’s.
“They are a team that’s doing really well. Their attacking players are producing for them,” Wiese said. “Cooksley is the midfielder of the year, as he deserves. He can pull the game out on his own and the pieces around him are complimenting him really well right now.
Expect a low scoring game, as the two goalkeepers are some of the best in the Big East. Georgetown’s junior keeper JT Marcinkowski led the conference with just 0.63 goals allowed average (GAA). The Red Storm will send out junior Andrew Withers, who finished the regular season just behind Marcinkowski with a 0.64 GAA. Despite a strong St. John’s defense, the Hoyas are hopeful to cause some headaches for the Red Storm back line.
“We have to be a little better about causing problems. Their defensive scheme is incredibly hard working and tough to get behind,” Wiese said.
The Hoyas’ Big East tournament performance will have implications on their NCAA Tournament campaign. With a win on Wednesday,they may be able to secure a high seed, home field advantage, and perhaps a bye.
“Every opportunity we get to help that [NCAA tournament] resume will be one that we want take advantage of. There are a lot of teams out there who are either going to be helping themselves or hurting themselves,” Wiese said.
For now, the Hoyas’ focus is on Wednesday at Shaw Field against St. John’s. The game will be broadcast on the Big East Digital Network.
Image Credits: Georgetown Sports Information