The Georgetown men’s soccer team (6-3-3, 2-1-1 Big East) played to a scoreless draw against Maryland (4-4-3, 2-2 Big 10) on Monday afternoon. Neither team created many clear cut chances after playing on Friday, and by the end of the match, both teams were clearly fatigued.
In the early going, both teams were reduced to shots from outside of the area, and while both Georgetown’s freshman goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis and Maryland’s redshirt junior goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair made early saves, all of them were fairly comfortable for the pair. The main action of the opening period came from Maryland’s freshman midfielder William James Herve, who picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Georgetown senior midfielder Kyle Zajec. Otherwise, the teams slowed down as the heat and fatigue took its toll, and despite there being 16 shots between the two sides, the first half lulled to a close.
“We’ll review that game and look at, ‘Why weren’t we more dangerous?’” head coach Brian Wiese said. “I think the answer’s going to be we just weren’t quite patient enough when we had some opportunities to be patient, and then that little bit of quality.”
The second half began much the same as the first, with the teams noticeably fresher after the break, but again neither team settled into any rhythm. Herve escaped a sending off twice, first for fouling Zajec and then senior midfielder/forward Ethan Lochner on the wing two minutes later. Both defenses did well to get their bodies in front of shots, and both teams lacked a cutting edge in the final third for most of the match. Graduate student midfielder Matt Ledder forced a smart reaction save from St. Clair in the 87th minute, but again, neither team created many clear cut chances, and the match headed to overtime scoreless.
The best chance of the game came in the first overtime period, as a lack of communication at the back led to scramble in the box. The ball fell to Lochner, but the senior leaned back on his shot and missed high. The Hoyas held a 4-0 shot advantage in the 10-minute period, but none of the pressure told, and the teams headed to a second golden goal overtime.
Aside from a yellow card for senior defender Peter Schropp, the final ten minutes continued in the same slow pace as the rest of the match. Yet while Georgetown’s attack struggled, failing to score on 21 shots, the defense recorded its third straight shutout, a feat the team hasn’t accomplished since last October.
“Giannis is communicating better,” Wiese said. “In general, he hasn’t been dealing with the shot stopping aspect; he’s been doing a much better job of sorting and organizing and absorbing the space behind the back four.”
The Hoyas will look to keep the clean sheet streak alive on Saturday against Villanova (6-4-1, 1-3 Big East). Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET and the game will be streamed on the Big East Digital Network. For more updates on men’s soccer and the rest of the fall sports at Georgetown, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice