The No. 6 Georgetown men’s soccer team (4-0-0, Big East) came away from its West Coast trip with another big win, defeating UCLA (2-2-0, Pac-12) 5-1 Tuesday evening in Los Angeles. The Hoyas went down a goal early, but scored twice before halftime, before striking with a flurry of goals after the intermission to put the game out of reach. Despite seeing just 36 minutes of action, sophomore midfielder Zach Riviere was easily the standout performer on the day, notching a hat trick for his first three goals as a Hoya. This marked Georgetown’s fourth win in four games against the Bruins dating back to 2009.
UCLA had the first chance in the second minute of the match. Taking advantage of a disorganized Georgetown backline to start the game, sophomore midfielder Cody Sundquist found junior defender Ben Reveno open on the right flank. Reveno sent in a low cross for junior forward Milan Iloski who calmly slotted the ball near post, past freshman goalkeeper Tomas Romero, starting in his second game of the season.
The Hoyas continued to look unsteady in the early going, as senior midfielder JB Fischer committed his second foul of the night inside four minutes, and Iloski had another opportunity in the fifth minute, which he missed just off to the left of Romero’s net. In the 14th minute, freshman defender Constantinos Michaelides intercepted a pass and went on a darting run down the left side, combining with junior midfielder Marcony Pimental whose eventual shot from outside the box just missed the top right corner.
By the 27th minute, the Hoyas had settled into the game, and junior forward Derek Dodson had the first real chance of the game for his squad, but his shot was off target. Three minutes later, head coach Brian Wiese made substitutions which immediately paid dividends.
Riviere, one of the subs, received the ball in the 31st minute after some interplay between Dodson and junior forward Jack Beer. His game-tying shot was solid and could not be stopped by Bruins sophomore keeper Justin Garces. Eight minutes later, it was Riviere who doubled his goal tally, with Dodson again involved in the build-up. After receiving a pass from Dodson, Riviere launched a shot through heavy traffic that Garces again failed to get in front of, and despite some early struggles, the Hoyas went into the break on top.
Coming out of halftime, Georgetown kept the pressure on, with junior midfielder Jacob Montes lacing a shot just over the bar in the 49th minute. Three minutes later, junior midfielder Paul Rothrock had his high shot saved by Garces, but the Hoyas maintained possession. Rothrock eventually sent in a cross that found freshman forward Will Sands open in the center. Sands turned and headed home the third Georgetown goal of the day and his first as a collegiate athlete.
Two minutes after the goal, junior defender Rio Hope-Gund had a chance, but he blasted his shot over the bar. However, it would not be long until the Hoyas again extended the margin. In the 58th minute, junior left-back Sean O’Hearn found Rothrock in the box, who took a touch and slotted the ball over the keeper’s head and into an empty net for his first goal as a Hoya. Ten minutes later, O’Hearn again worked the field to Georgetown’s advantage, finding an open Riviere, who put an exclamation mark on the victory, finishing his third goal of the match.
The Hoyas dominated possession after a testy first 20 minutes and took 15 shots to UCLA’s four. Romero and senior goalkeeper Maurice Coyle, who came on in the dying minutes, were not forced into a single save after the opening goal of the game.
The Hoyas return to Shaw Field next Saturday for a one-game homestand, hosting UConn (2-1-0, American) at 1:00 p.m. ET. Live stats and a stream will be available at guhoyas.com. For live updates and continued coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice