The Georgetown men’s soccer team (2-1, Big East) opened its home schedule with a dominant 2-0 win over Radford (0-3, Big South) on Friday afternoon at Shaw Field. Sophomore forward Derek Dodson scored twice on the day.
“We were just taking what they gave us and moving the ball with good tempo. When you do that, you can get in behind them and finish it,” Dodson said.
“It was important to get the shutout,” said Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese. “The game was never really out of sight… I don’t think we handled the details really well and when you play a good team like Radford, they can punish you for that. So looking forward we need to tidy up those issues, minimize the lapses, and be a little sharper in front of net.”
The Hoyas got on the board in the 14th minute, exploiting their early advantage down the wings to do so. Junior defender Dylan Nealis made a run down the right wing, taking the ball to the right side of the box, forcing Radford redshirt freshman Dimitrios Valkanos goalkeeper off his line. Nealis sent a pass back across the box, where Dodson was waiting at the six-yard box for a tap-in.
While the Hoyas failed to maintain an early lead in their previous game on the road against Coastal Carolina (1-1, Sun Belt), those problems were a distant memory on Friday. Radford managed several dangerous opportunities, but the back four provided sound clearances and crucial blocks when needed. Freshman goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis saved all four Highlander shots in the contest.
Georgetown looked poised to add to its lead near the end of the half, as junior forward Achara made well-timed runs behind the defense, but barely missed on both of his opportunities. At the half, Georgetown maintained its slim 1-0 lead.
“One of the advantages of getting the early lead was that Radford had to had to take more chances. Their line was pretty high, and we got behind them from that,” Wiese said.
The Blue & Gray’s offensive rhythm endured the halftime intermission, as the Hoyas generated a flurry of chances to open the second half. Georgetown generated three excellent chances on goal in as many minutes, but were thwarted by Valkanos and the Radford defense in each instance. Finally, in the 56th minute, Dodson’s persistence paid dividends, as he received a low-cross from Achara at the penalty spot. An excellent first touch stopped the ball’s flight, giving the sophomore time to spin and shoot towards the far post with his left foot. While Valkanos deflected the initial shot, the ball found the back of the net thanks to a kind bounce.
With a two-goal lead in hand, Wiese inserted several bench players to give his starters a much-needed rest ahead of a Labor Day clash against the three-time defending national champions, No. 10 Stanford (0-0-2, PAC 12). The mix of starters and reserves did enough to seal the shutout and the much-needed home victory.
“I love this place (Shaw Field),” Dodson said.
“I think getting this result can’t be understated,” said Wiese. “Our fans are great… I think there’s momentum with all of that stuff… It’s really hard to win on the road. So, when we’re at home, we want to reciprocate that.”
Monday’s tilt against Stanford is set to kick off at 1:00 pm. Follow @GUVoiceSports for live updates and breaking news.