The No. 1 Georgetown men’s soccer team (5-0, Big East) beat the No.7 Maryland Terrapins (4-1, Big Ten) by a score of 1-0 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Shaw Field. A sixth minute goal by junior forward Stefan Stojanovic, who finished a fantastic cross by sophomore midfielder Chris Hegardt at the back post, gave the Hoyas an early lead that they maintained for the rest of the game.
Georgetown started the game firing on all cylinders as they looked to set the pace and maintain their number one spot in the rankings, giving the Terps no time to settle into the match. The early pressure paid off with Stojanovic finishing a great build up play by sophomore midfielder John Franks down the right wing, who found Hegardt on the corner of the box to deliver a magnificent assist on the opening goal.
The rest of the first half saw the Hoyas get close to scoring for a second time with multiple shots on goal, forcing Maryland’s sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Lowell to make various stops. In the 43rd minute, the Terps enjoyed their first real scoring opportunity of the game, with a shot by senior forward Justin Gielen hitting the right post and senior forward Bryan Padilla putting the goal in the back of the net after the rebound. The Terps’ celebration was short lived, however, when the referee ruled the play offsides and the goal was disallowed, restoring the lead to the Hoyas.
A minute later, Georgetown’s sophomore forward Marlon Tabora would hit the woodwork again after a beautiful run cutting in on his left foot from the right side of the field. These action-packed final minutes of the first half would take both teams to the locker room with renewed energies.
The second half became more of a cagey affair between both teams, as multiple fouls were committed and five yellow cards were issued. Junior midfielder Dante Polvara tried to enlarge the Hoyas’ lead with a couple of long distance efforts that were blocked by Maryland’s defenders. Senior forward Zach Riviere had the best chance of the second half after a rebound found his feet inside the box, but his final shot was too wide. The Terps got close to Hoya’s senior goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis’ goal with a couple of set pieces, but they never really made the Hoyas’ lead be in doubt. The game came to a close with solid possession soccer from the Hoyas, who kept the ball well and saw the time trickle away.
With his third shutout of the year, Nikopolidis is tied with Matthew Brutto and Tyler Purtill for the second most shutouts in team history with 22. Brutto played for the Hoyas from 2007-2010 while Purtill was the keeper from 1996-1999. The program record is held by Tomas Gomez who amassed 36 shutouts from 2011-2014.
The Georgetown men’s soccer team will look to keep their fantastic momentum going when they face Temple (1-0-2, AAC) next Tuesday at the Temple Sports Complex at 7 p.m. EDT. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and coverage of all fall sports at Georgetown.