On the day they moved to No. 2 in the nation after starting the 2019 campaign in blistering form, the Georgetown men’s soccer team (6-1-0, 1-0-0 Big East) fell to Louisville (4-1-2, 1-0-1 ACC) 1-0 on Tuesday evening. The goals dried up on the road for the Hoyas, who entered averaging 3.2 goals per match, while a second-overtime header from Cardinals senior forward Kino Ryosuke sealed GU’s fate. Despite firing 11 shots across the 105 minutes, just two drew saves from Louisville’s junior goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch. Meanwhile, the Cardinals, who seemed to lose momentum as the game wore on, rebounded in the final period, with Ryosuke capitalizing on a scramble after a corner was not cleared.
The Hoyas knew they were in for a stout test on the road against the Cardinals, who have posted two top-20 wins already this season and beat Georgetown on Shaw Field last year, and the first half confirmed as much. Senior midfielder Cherif Dieye forced Hoyas sophomore goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis to make a save low to his left in the fourth minute to begin the game, while Louisville blazed a ball over the bar three minutes later. In the 19th minute, UL junior forward Emil Elveroth breached the Hoyas’ backline and beat Nikopolidis, but a spectacular goal-line clearance by junior center back Rio Hope-Gund preserved the scoreless tie.
The Blue & Gray attack was more lively later in the first frame, with junior midfielder Paul Rothrock’s attempt from the edge of the box not quite having the pace to beat Gelnovatch before junior forward Derek Dodson shot over the bar from a similar area in the 39th minute. Meanwhile, a last-ditch backtracking tackle from senior fullback Dylan Nealis thwarted another promising Cardinals attack before the break.
Both sides were booked in a scrappy second half that saw the ball often being played between gray shirts in the Cardinals’ third of the pitch. Hoyas head coach Brian Wiese was liberally subbing his attacking options throughout in search of the right duo to unlock the home defense, while the Cardinals seemed content to play searching long balls at their generally undersupported forwards. Dieye remained a threat, as the Senegalese leading scorer wound up firing five shots on the evening, three more than any other player.
The Hoyas ramped up the intensity late, forcing an impressive scrambling claim from Gelnovatch in the 82nd minute before junior midfielder Jacob Montes got too far underneath a ball that he was looking to curl in a similar fashion to his goal against Butler last Friday.
With 90 minutes proving not enough to separate the two sides, the two 10-minute overtime “golden goal” periods commenced. Neither team mustered a shot in the first overtime, but Georgetown missed out on what would have been a one-on-one with the goalkeeper when Rothrock was ruled just offsides after being played through by Montes.
Finally, at 105:44, Ryosuke struck. After Nikopolidis made a superb stop to deny a drive from Dieye two minutes into the second overtime, the Greek goalkeeper was caught out of his net chasing a flicked-on corner as redshirt senior defender Cody Cochran directed the ball back towards the near post. Calmly waiting unmarked was Ryosuke, who had been subbed on eight minutes earlier, and the five-foot-nine striker got enough on the ball to glance it into the net. The match signified the Hoyas’ first time being shut out since last season’s NCAA Tournament loss to Michigan State, and means GU is no longer one of the nine undefeated teams in the nation.
The Blue & Gray will look to return to winning ways on Saturday at home against Providence (5-2-0, 1-0-0 Big East) at 1 p.m. ET. Live stats and a stream are available at guhoyas.com. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for live coverage and coverage of all fall sports on campus.
Image Credits: John Picker