The No. 2 Georgetown Hoyas men’s soccer team (No. 2, 1-0-0, 1-0 Big East) defeated the Villanova Wildcats (0-3-0, 0-1 Big East) 3-0 in their season opener on Saturday. After having three games postponed due to coronavirus concerns earlier this month, the Hoyas traveled to Villanova for their first game since their December 2019 victory in the NCAA men’s soccer final against the University of Virginia. Georgetown’s win was punctuated by a first-half goal from freshman forward Chris Hegardt and a brace from sophomore forward Dante Polvara in the second half.
At kickoff, Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese opted for a 4-4-2 formation, starting senior Ethan Koehler at goalkeeper. Villanova, entering the matchup on a two-game skid, chose a 2-6-2 formation and started redshirt junior Carson Williams in goal.
The Hoyas performed well from the opening whistle, pressing up the field offensively and taking three shots and three corner kicks in the opening minutes of the game. Despite their strong play, Georgetown was unable to pull ahead until the 42nd minute, when sophomore forward Will Sands found Hegardt with a cross across the top of the penalty box. Hegardt forced his way in through the defense and took a shot from near the penalty spot to put the Hoyas ahead by one. Georgetown played strong defense throughout the half, holding the Wildcats to four shots, all of which missed the mark.
Villanova’s best chance to score came early in the second half when freshman forward Dominic Cyriacks nearly converted on a free kick from just outside the penalty area. Koehler deflected the shot for Georgetown, but Villanova’s sophomore midfielder Anthony Dragisics recovered the ball and found sophomore forward Lyam Mackinnon with a cross into the box. Mackinnon got in a shot from near the goal line, but Koehler made the save to deny the equalizer and maintain his clean sheet.
After the early attack by Villanova, the Hoyas continued to build their offensive momentum. Polvara notched a goal on a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Aidan Rocha in the 60th minute. Six minutes later, he scored again on a penalty to extend the Hoyas’ lead to 3-0. The Hoyas maintained their advantage throughout the rest of the game to reach the final score. Polvara led the team with two goals and two shots on goal. Hegardt had one goal on one shot, while Sands and Rocha each registered an assist. Villanova’s sole shot on goal came from Mackinnon in the second half.
In his comments after the game, Coach Wiese stressed the team’s potential, saying that, “There is still a lot to evolve for us this season with new faces, injuries and the challenges that come with a shortened preseason. But the foundation is there to be excited about this group. It was great to get out there and shake the rust off.”
Georgetown will look to continue its success in its home opener against the Seton Hall Pirates (2-0-1, 0-0 Big East) on Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 PM at Shaw Field. Livestream information and live stats will be available on www.guhoyas.com. For continued coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.