Sports

Battle for the DMV: No. 1 Georgetown vs. No. 7 Maryland

Published September 10, 2021


Giannis Nikopolidis Photo by John Picker

The No. 1 Georgetown men’s soccer team (4-0, Big East) seeks to maintain its undefeated streak against local rival No. 7 Maryland (4-0, Big Ten) this Saturday at Shaw Field. In their highest-ranked match-up of the season, Georgetown will look to prove their dominance in the DMV.

The Hoyas will look to improve on their finishing and shot accuracy after only scoring one goal on 20 total shots against Santa Clara (3-1, WCC) last weekend. Although freshman defender Kieran Sargeant’s game-winning goal was nothing short of impressive, the Hoyas will need more consistent finishing touches, especially off of corner kicks, to beat the highly ranked Terrapins.

Some key Hoyas to watch include junior midfielder Dante Polvara, sophomore midfielder John Franks, and Sargeant. Polvara had several shots against Santa Clara and leads the Hoyas in assists this season, and will play a key role in this week’s match-up. Franks has been improving quickly, and if he continues making solid runs on the wings, he’ll become a lethal part of Georgetown’s offense.

After coming off the bench to start the season, Sargeant, named this week’s Big East Freshman of the Week, has now played all 90 minutes in each of the past two games, notching three shots, one assist, and two goals on the season. He could have been in on goal several more times in the Santa Clara match, but was whistled offsides twice. The Hoyas will look to him for more consistent finishes and better-timed runs this Saturday.

The start in goal will likely go to senior goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis. Nikopolidis and graduate goalie Ethan Koehler have both started two games so far, and the two have been superb, including Koehler’s big performance against Santa Clara. While the two will likely continue switching off throughout the year, Hoya fans should expect Nikopolidis to draw the biggest games as he looks to once again defend his Big East Goalkeeper of the Year award. 

The Terps are coming off of a 2-1 comeback win against Virginia (2-1, ACC) on Monday. They will also look to improve their finishing after scoring only two goals on eleven shots on goal. Hoya fans should watch out for Maryland sophomore defender Ben Bender, who earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after a goal against Virginia and an assist in the Terps’ win over George Washington (2-1-1, A-10) last week.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET at Shaw Field. The teams last faced in October 2019, and the Hoyas won 1-0. Georgetown is 4-4-2 against Maryland all-time. Live stats will be available at guhoyas.com and the game will be streamed on FloFC (subscription required). For continued coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.



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