No. 16 Georgetown men’s soccer (4-1-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) pulled out a 2-0 non conference victory over the No. 12 James Madison Dukes (4-2-2, 0-1 SBC) on Tuesday afternoon at Shaw Field.
The Hoyas came out the gate strong, with a goal for sophomore forward Jacob Murrell off of a free kick from junior midfielder Diego Letayf in the 14th minute. The rest of the half featured some back-and-forth play, but in general, Georgetown solidly out-possessed the Dukes and saw several goalscoring opportunities.
Senior forward Marlon Tabora knocked a shot off the crossbar with just over 20 minutes to play in the half, and junior defender Kieran Sargeant had a beautiful cross, though no one was in the box to finish it. This was a trend throughout the first half, where Georgetown struggled to get a head or a foot on passes in front of the goal.
Fortunately for the Blue & Gray, JMU wasn’t faring much better offensively, thanks in large part to tremendous efforts from senior defender Kenny Nielsen and junior defender Maximus Jennings. As a result, the Hoyas closed out the half up 1-0.
Early in the second half, the Dukes saw their first close scoring chance of the game. Inaccurate passing from the Hoyas on their own side led to JMU’s first shot on goal from graduate midfielder Clay Obara, which sophomore goalie Tenzing Manske saved with a quick tip over the crossbar.
However, after that brief lapse, the Hoyas recovered their form, and notched their second goal of the match in the 60th minute thanks to a James Madison defender, who redirected a shot from
Georgetown junior Joe Buck into the goal. Freshman midfielder Eric Howard was credited with the assist.
In a sloppy close to the game, Sargeant got a yellow card and Georgetown picked up a couple of off-sides calls, but the Hoyas still pulled out the 2-0 win.
Offensively, Sargeant and Howard made a formidable pair on the left wing, playing well off of each other to create scoring opportunities for the Hoyas. The real issue lay in finishing crosses. Defensively, Nielsen and Jennings did a good job of preventing shots from JMU, but there is still room for improvement in passing accuracy for the defense as a whole. Manske looked solid in only his second career start, his first being Georgetown’s 5-1 loss against Stanford.
The Hoyas looked strong against JMU, who was a top-10 team at the time of the match. This will hopefully be a turning point in the season for them after a rough loss to Stanford and a tough draw to Fordham earlier this year. They next play on Saturday in Cincinnati, where Georgetown will face Xavier in their second BIG EAST match-up of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and live streaming is available on the BIG EAST Network. For continued coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on X.