The Georgetown men’s soccer team (4-2-1, 0-1-0 Big East) pulled off an enormous bounce back victory against No. 9 Duke (3-2-0, 0-1-0 ACC) Tuesday evening in Durham, N.C. Junior forward Achara’s third goal of the season, a headed shot off of an assist from junior midfielder Dylan Nealis in the sixth minute, was the difference maker for the Hoyas. The 1-0 win over Duke gives the them their fourth win this season.
The Blue Devils, coming off of a nine-day break due to Hurricane Florence, were thoroughly outplayed throughout the first ten minutes of play. The Hoyas pressed them hard early on and dominated possession. In the third minute, Nealis got his head on a cross from the right side and sent it toward the net, but it went just wide right. Three minutes later, Nealis got involved in the action again after the Georgetown backline sent a recovered ball downfield. He eventually received the ball and sent in a perfect cross to Achara who slotted it past sophomore goalkeeper Will Pulisic’s left side.
Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese was thrilled to see his team recover so quickly from a sour 2-3 defeat against Xavier (3-0-3, 1-0-0 Big East) on Saturday.
“The guys grew up a bit from the Xavier game,” he said. “It was a similar situation and they used their experience from Xavier and applied it to this game.”
Achara and his striking partner, sophomore forward Derek Dodson, combined for several more chances throughout the first half as Georgetown continued to appear the more assertive side. Achara blasted a shot high in the 20th minute and Dodson missed wide in the 25th before receiving a yellow card. Pulisic was also called upon again in the 31st and 41st minutes as sophomore midfielder Jacob Montes and junior forward Riley Strassner got shots on target.
On the other side of the field, freshman goalkeeper Giannis Nikopilodis was forced to make a couple of saves in the first half, but Georgetown’s defense held strong and the looks were far from threatening for the most part.
In the second half, Georgetown continued to control possession, but the Blue Devils were able to generate closer chances when the ball was at their feet. Between the 75th and 81st minutes, Nikopolidis had to make three difficult saves as Duke’s midfield pushed forward late in the game.
In the 86th minute, Georgetown had a chance to seal it as Achara sent Dodson through on a one-on-one, but Pulisic made a nice kick save to keep his squad in the game. The Hoyas were ultimately able to hold on though, clinching a big victory in their third to last game of non-conference play. Afterwards, Wiese reflected on the way his team was able to close out the tough win.
“They showed some grit when it was necessary and came away from a road game against a very good Duke team with a win,” he said.
The Hoyas next return to conference play with a home matchup against DePaul (4-4-0, 1-0-0 Big East) on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET. For more updates on men’s soccer and the remainder of fall sports at Georgetown, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.