The No. 21/7 Georgetown Hoyas men’s soccer team (1-2-2, Big East) fell 2-1 to a physical No. 14/19 Maryland side (3-1-1, Big Ten) at home on Saturday afternoon. After a slow start, Georgetown’s dominant second half wasn’t enough to tip the balance in their favor.
The Hoyas started the game with a pair of offsides calls – a trend that would continue throughout the match. Georgetown sophomore midfielder Diego Letayf fouled inside the box for an early Terps’ penalty kick, which senior Malcolm Johnston easily converted to put Maryland up 1-0 in the seventh minute. Aside from diving in the other direction, there wasn’t much that sophomore goalkeeper Luca Ulrich, making his second start of the season, could have done.
The first half was characterized by shots on goal for the Terrapins and long balls to no one for the Hoyas. The loss of experience on Georgetown’s roster showed, but Maryland’s aggressive, physical play didn’t help. Sophomore midfielder Blaine Mabie and junior midfielder Kyle Linhares both took several falls throughout the game.
Partway through the first half, Linhares had a nice run up the right side of the field that led to a corner kick with several crosses in front of the goal, but the Hoyas just couldn’t get a head on the ball. They also showed room for improvement in the timing of their runs and in the accuracy of their crosses. The Hoyas were repeatedly called offside, and their crosses tended to be either too high or too long.
In the 30th minute, bad luck and poor passing worsened things for the Hoyas. Sophomore midfielder Joe Buck tried to pass back to Ulrich, but missed wide. Ulrich ran out of goal to get the ball before it went out of bounds to avoid a corner kick, but in his attempt to clear it, he kicked it directly to Maryland’s redshirt senior defender Nick Richardson, who easily finished on an open goal, putting the Terps up 2-0 to close out the half.Maryland tallied seven shots on goal to Georgetown’s one.
The Hoyas turned things around in the second half, with more passes connecting and a shot from junior forward Marlon Tabora just missing the goal to land on top of the net within the first ten minutes. As the half went on, both teams got increasingly physical. Buck got a yellow card in the 65th minute, followed shortly by a yellow for Maryland’s freshman defender Luca Costabile.
Georgetown had no trouble getting the ball down the field for scoring opportunities in the second half, but struggled to finish on crosses. When they did manage to get a head or a leg on a cross, it usually went over the net, until freshman midfielder Jack Panayotou found the back of the net assisted by freshman forward Jacob Murrell.
Both teams started playing much more roughly as the clock wound down, with unnecessary shoving when the ball wasn’t even in play. As time wound down, Terps’ freshman forward Max Riley almost had a breakaway chance. But before he could fully break away from the Hoyas’ back line, he fouled and got a yellow card.
Despite controlling play during the second half and outshooting Maryland 14 to 3, the Hoyas couldn’t convert their numerous scoring opportunities and the game finished 2-1, Terrapins. Moving forward, Georgetown needs to work on their finishing and emphasize strong play from the start. This was a game that they could have won had they played as well as they did the second half in the first.
The Hoyas play their next game on Friday, September 16 at 8:30 p.m. at St. John’s (1-3-1, Big East) in their first game of conference play. The match will be broadcast live on FS1. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and continued coverage of all Georgetown sports.