The 3-seed Georgetown men’s soccer team knocked Louisville out of the NCAA Tournament in their Third Round matchup Sunday afternoon at Shaw Field. Georgetown (17-1-3, 7-0-2 Big East) handily defeated the Cardinals by a 5-1 scoreline, increasing their tournament goal total to 10 through two games. Junior midfielder Jacob Montes led the way with a fantastic all-around performance, notching a brace and two assists, while junior midfielder Paul Rothrock scored twice as well, as the Hoyas avenged their double-overtime loss at Louisville earlier this season.
It was Montes who opened the scoring just 1:39 into the game with a spectacular solo effort. Cardinals redshirt junior defender Cody Cochran received a clean pass from senior defender Louka Masset with plenty of time, but hesitated on the ball, and Montes, Georgetown’s leading scorer, blocked Cochran’s pass attempt. The ball deflected perfectly for Montes toward the left side of Louisville’s box and he quickly chased it down. After making a move to get some inside space on Cochran, Montes curled the ball into the far right corner for the 1-0 lead.
After the opener, the Cardinals became the aggressors, taking three shots over the next 25 minutes but picking up two yellow cards along the way. But in the 26th minute, the Hoyas doubled their lead, as their high pressure continued to choke the Louisville backline. This time, freshman midfielder Dante Polvara stole the ball and it came to Montes, who set up junior forward Jack Beer for his third goal of the season.
Just three minutes later, the Cardinals showed signs of life, cutting the deficit in half with more than an hour remaining. Louisville sophomore forward Pedro Fonseca, who has played just seven games this season, took possession deep in Georgetown territory. His shot beat sophomore goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis, but it deflected off the post. Fonseca was right there for the rebound though, and put it away, decreasing the margin to 2-1. Both teams continued to play aggressively, picking up eight combined fouls over the final 15 minutes of the first half, but neither found the back of the net.
In the 50th minute, the Hoyas restored their lead back to two as the Cardinals made another mistake in their own half. Senior defender Dylan Nealis made a tackle on Louisville senior midfielder Cherif Dieye and sophomore midfielder Sean Zawadzki claimed the ball. Zawadzki then darted past a series of Cardinals defenders before sending a pass across the box towards Polvara. Polvara left it for Rothrock and his first shot was saved, but he reacted quickly on the rebound, firing past junior goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch and two Louisville players protecting the goal.
The Cardinals continued to push for a second goal, but the Georgetown defense largely held their attacks in check. With 10 minutes to play, the Louisville forwards’ frustration began to show as senior forward Kino Riyosuke picked up a yellow card on a foul inches outside of the top-left corner of the box. Montes stepped up to take it and fired the ball towards the near post, placing it perfectly passed Gelnovatch’s diving effort for a 4-1 lead and his 10th goal on the season.
21 seconds later, the Hoyas put the cherry on top with Rothrock’s second goal. Montes received the ball near the top of Louisville’s box and dribbled towards the left side before sending a through ball to Rothrock towards the goal. The junior sprinted on to the ball and took a first-time shot, beating Gelnovatch with a clinical near post finish.
After being shut out in their first clash with the Cardinals earlier this year, the Hoyas finished with 18 shots, including 10 on target, in the 5-1 triumph. With this win, Georgetown advances to the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals next weekend.
The Hoyas will host the winner of 6-seed Washington and 11-seed Marshall on Saturday at Shaw Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET. Live stats and a stream can be found at guhoyas.com. For continued coverage of men’s soccer and all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice