The Georgetown University men’s soccer team (5-8-1, 2-3-1 Big East) defeated the visiting St. John’s Red Storm (6-4-4, 2-2-2 Big East) on Saturday by a score of 1-0. The lone goal was scored by Georgetown senior forward Brett Campbell.
Saturday’s win marks the first time the Hoyas have won consecutive games all season. Inconsistent play has plagued the Blue and Gray throughout the year, but the team pieced together a performance reminiscent of last year’s record-shattering squad to gain the crucial win. The Hoyas outshot St. John’s by a mark of 21-12, and won seven corner kicks to the Red Storm’s three.
“It’s good to see what I thought was one of our most disciplined performances and a really good performance on the year to show up at this time. It’s important,” said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese.
For much of the first half, Georgetown dominated possession. The Hoya midfield, led by juniors Arun Basuljevic and Christopher Lema, as well as senior Bakie Goodman, was able to pressure St. John’s and maintain control of the ball. While Georgetown’s pressure certainly played a role in the Red Storm’s sloppy first half play, it was arguably the intense wind pestering Shaw Field that played the biggest role in the Blue and Gray’s early dominance. St. John’s sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Withers struggled to clear the ball past midfield on his goal kicks due to the high winds, which led to transition opportunities for Georgetown.
“With the wind being such a factor, we knew we had to keep the ball on the floor,” said Campbell. “We were looking to get in behind them, especially in the first half with the wind at our backs.”
After several threatening possessions, the Hoyas were able to find the back of the net in the eighth minute. Junior forward Zach Knudson received a through ball on the left side of the pitch and utilized a beautiful first touch to blow by the oncoming defender. Knudson drove the ball in the near post and ripped a low cross into the box, where Campbell controlled the pass and drove the shot under the outstretched arms of Withers.
“Zach did a great job of holding up the ball, and because of the possession we were able to get deep and cause problems,” Campbell remarked.
While Georgetown looked clinical early, Coach Wiese hoped to build upon the lead before the half, knowing that Georgetown would have the wind working against them in the second period.
“The first half was very, very good,” he said. “We were pushing for that second goal just in case the second half was the same as the first, except the roles would have been reversed.”
The Hoyas were unable to find the goal, but stellar defensive play from the back four and excellent communication from sophomore goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski contributed to Georgetown’s third shutout of the season. Possession was much more balanced in the second period, as the Red Storm managed eight shots in the half, but only one was on target due in large part to Georgetown’s defensive pressure.
“It’s only our third shutout, but I thought we’ve been playing well the past couple of games and we’re finally coming together,” said Marcinkowski.
With just three games remaining in the season, the Hoyas find themselves in an unfamiliar situation. In order to qualify for the Big East Tournament, the team will have to finish in the top eight of the conference table. With three games to play, the Blue and Gray are in seventh place, just two points ahead of ninth place. Georgetown’s final three games come against tenth-place Seton Hall, fourth-place Villanova, and first-place Creighton. If the Hoyas hope to play in the postseason, they will need to continue their two-game winning streak.
“Hopefully we’re hitting our stride at the most important time of the year,” said Campbell. “We need to keep winning and hopefully get a good seed in the Big East Tournament.”
Georgetown will travel to Seton Hall on Wednesday for a date with the Pirates. The game will be streamed on the Big East Digital Network. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m.