On Saturday, the No. 5 Georgetown men’s soccer team (4-0-0, Big East) returns home from the West Coast to host Connecticut (2-2-0, American) on Shaw Field. The Hoyas will look to continue their blazing hot start to the season, as they boast a +10 goal differential through four games. The Huskies, on the other hand, will attempt to snap a two-game skid after dropping matches to Farleigh Dickinson (3-1-0, NEC) and Yale (1-0-2, Ivy).
Last weekend, the Blue & Gray squeaked by UC Irvine with a 1-0 victory on Friday thanks to a late goal from junior midfielder Jacob Montes. Then, the Hoyas turned around and smashed UCLA (2-2-0, Pac-12) on Monday to the tune of a 5-1 rout. The Bruins jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage just two minutes into the game, as junior forward Milan Iloski, their leading goal scorer, beat Hoya freshman goalkeeper Tomas Romero at the near post. UCLA held that lead until the 31st minute when Georgetown sophomore midfielder Zach Riviere found the back of the net for his first collegiate goal. From there on, it remained all Hoyas. Riviere scored again eight minutes later, and after tallies from freshman forward Will Sands and junior midfielder Paul Rothrock, Riviere netted again in the 68th minute. Georgetown’s five goals were the most for the team since they defeated Radford 5-2 in 2015, while Riviere’s hat trick was the first by a Hoya since 2013.
The Huskies’ loss to Yale came on Wednesday in New Haven, where the Bulldogs dominated in the 3-0 win. Two of the goals were supplied by senior midfielder Ryan Matteo, his first two of the season. Despite the lopsided score, Connecticut actually outshot Yale 13-9, though only three of Connecticut’s shots were on target, while Yale had six. With that being said, if the Huskies struggled to score against Yale, they will have their work cut out for them against the Georgetown defense, which has been a brick wall this year. Through four games, the Hoyas have been scored on just twice, with both goals coming in comfortable wins. Meanwhile, the offense has hit twine 12 times on 55 shots – a remarkable rate. In contrast, the Huskies have both scored and been scored on six times through four games.
A certain point of interest going into Saturday is who will be in goal for the Hoyas. Sophomore goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis, who started 17 of Georgetown’s 21 games in 2018, has started two games, while freshman goalkeeper Tomas Romero started the other two, including the victory at UCLA. From a small sample size, their goals allowed averages and save percentages are almost identical, so it will be interesting to see who head coach Brian Wiese tabs on Saturday.
With a dominant victory over Connecticut, the No. 6 Hoyas could climb even higher in the national rankings.