On Friday, the 3-seed Georgetown men’s soccer team travels down to Cary, NC for a huge battle against 7-seed Stanford in the semifinals stage of the College Cup. The Big East champions take on the Cardinal, who won three straight NCAA Tournaments before coming up short last season in the quarterfinals. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. ET at WakeMed Soccer Park and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU with live stats available at guhoyas.com.
The Hoyas (18-1-3, 7-0-2 Big East) come into this matchup following a hard-fought 2-1 win over Washington (17-4-0, 8-2-0 PAC-12) in the quarterfinals. After breezing through their two tournament games with 10 combined goals, the Hoyas went down a goal just three minutes in against the Huskies on a brilliant strike from senior midfielder Jaret Townsend. Georgetown gradually gained the upper hand, but did not put a goal past freshman keeper Sam Fowler until the 72nd minute. Junior midfielder Jacob Montes, the team’s leading scorer on the season who was just named a third team All-American, drew a foul seven yards outside the box and curled the ensuing free kick perfectly into the top-right corner. Junior forward Derek Dodson scored the winner four minutes later on a low strike across the face of the goal that Fowler reached but could not stop.
Dodson, who has notched 10 goals this year and a team-high eight assists, joined Montes as a third team All-American, while senior defender Dylan Nealis made the first team.
Stanford (14-2-5, 6-2-2 PAC-12) also had a couple players feature on the All-American teams. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Thomas made the third team, while redshirt senior defender Tanner Beason made his second consecutive first team. Cracking that elite Cardinal defense will be a tall task for Head Coach Brian Wiese and the Hoyas, but for an offense that has generated 51 goals in 22 games, they should be up to the challenge.
The Cardinal have not been as dominant this season as in the past, failing to capture the PAC-12 championship, and scraping by with wins on penalties in two of their first three games of the NCAA Tournament. That said, Stanford’s defense has been stalwart throughout the season, and they boast a balanced attack with eight players reaching eight or more points on the year.
In their last game, Beason scored a header to put them up on 2-seed Clemson (18-2-2, 6-1-1 ACC) in the 35th minute, but Tigers freshman midfielder Mohamed Seye responded with a header goal of his own in the 69th minute. After two periods of scoreless overtime, Thomas stood strong in goal during the penalty shootout and the Cardinal prevailed.
Both teams will be aiming for a return to the College Cup final where Stanford won in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and Georgetown last appeared in 2012, losing to Indiana.
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Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice