Men’s soccer unable to keep early lead vs. Hoyas
Facing their third ranked opponent in the last month, the Seton Hall men’s soccer team could not stage an upset against the No. 20 Georgetown Hoyas at Owen T. Carroll Field on Wednesday night.
The 3-1 loss to the Hoyas was the Hall’s third in a row, and fifth in their last seven games.
In the first half, the Hoyas put a lot of pressure on the Hall’s back defensive line. Georgetown controlled the tempo in the early portion of the game.
During the opening six minutes, there were two offensive chances for Georgetown, including a header by a Hoya forward that just missed the right corner of the goal.
In the eighth minute, Seton Hall freshman midfielder Damian Bziukiewicz found a sliding Jason Wellington with a long cross from the top left corner of the box to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead on his second goal of the year.
Two minutes later, Wellington had another chance from the right side of the box but his shot missed high and to the left of the goal. One minute after that, Wellington whiffed on a shot attempt from about 10 yards out
“They were off to a better start then us, but after that I thought we picked it up,” head coach Manny Schellscheidt said. “I thought it was a lift getting the early goal, giving us a little momentum.”
In the 19th minute, Georgetown junior midfielder Andy Riemer had a step on senior defender Joe Baker, but Baker slid in front of him and knocked the ball aside to save the scoring chance for the Hoyas and preserve the 1-0 lead.
Georgetown finally broke through in the 24th minute when freshman defender Tyler Rudy hit a cross to Riemer but missed on the initial shot. Battistesa missed a clearing attempt in front of the net that found Riemer in front, who dribbled the ball past Pirate goalkeeper Mario DeClerico, tying the game at 1-0.
Georgetown took control of the game during the final 45 minutes.
In the 52nd minute, during a skirmish in front of the Seton Hall net, Hoya midfielder Steve Neumann put a bouncing ball past DeClerico to give the Hoyas a 2-1 lead.
12 minutes later, Neumann intercepted a bad clearing attempt by the Pirates’ defense and found an open Riemer to the right of the net who put it in the back of the net for an easy goal.
The Hall played a large portion of the second half without Battistessa and midfielder Kai Greene.
“They are two steady and important guys for us and that doesn’t help us either,” Schellscheidt said. “We are young already, and when these guys come out, Kai, probably for the season, has been one of our better guys all around, game after game. If we lose him we are not quite the same either.”
The Pirates are now 0-2-1 against opponents who are either ranked or receiving votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. They should have one more game against a ranked opponent when they face the current No. 1 Connecticut on Oct. 29.
Tim LeCras can be reached at email@example.com.