By: Isabel Smith ~Staff Writer~
Men’s soccer put forth a strong effort but fell short against Georgetown on Nov. 12 on the Hoyas’ home turf. The game was a rematch of last year’s Big East semifinals. The fourth-seeded Musketeers ultimately fell to the top-seeded competition 1-0 and missed an opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament.
Xavier entered the match 12- 5-1 facing Georgetown, who was 13-2-2 and 9-0 in league play during the regular season. A Big East team hadn’t entered the conference championships with a 9-0 league record since Louisville in 2009.
The Musketeers held control of the ball early and had the potential for two goals by redshirt sophomore Walker Andriot and sophomore Josh Grant. The Hoyas’ defense, filled with veterans that played in the 2012 National Championship match, proved its durability and refused the chances on goal.
In the 15th minute, redshirt junior Chris Moore sent a long pass to sophomore Matt Vasquenza. Vasquenza broke through the Hoyas’ defense, including Big East Defender of the Year Joshua Yaro, to make a shot on goal. Goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski, Big East Freshman of the Year, quickly responded and blocked the shot.
A pass from Bakie Goodman to Brandon Allen resulted in Georgetown’s single goal right before the 16th minute. Xavier ended the first period with five shots on goal, while Georgetown concluded the period with seven shots on goal.
In the second half, the Musketeers were able to hold the score at 1-0. Xavier’s back four, Moore, junior Todd Pratzner, sophomore Cory Brown and sophomore Matt Nance, proved resilient against Georgetown’s powerful offense.
Xavier had a total of five shots in the second period, one of which came from Andriot. It came on a pass from senior Alex Ridsdale but just missed the goal. Andriot led the match with three shots. Georgetown finished the half with three shots, and each team finished with 10 shots apiece.
Redshirt senior Dallas Jaye made three saves in the second half. Despite several attempts on goal, Xavier’s efforts were not enough to match the eventual Big East Champions. While the Musketeers did not make the bracket for the NCAA tournament, they concluded the season with a number of accomplishments.
Xavier produced a winning record and had gone unbeaten in six of the previous eight matches, including a victory against No. 1 Creighton at the Bluejays’ home turf.