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No. 7 Georgetown beats Villanova, clinches share of Big East title

WASHINGTON (Via Georgetown University) – The No. 7/7 Georgetown University men’s soccer squad clinched a share of the BIG EAST Regular Season Championship with a 2-1 comeback victory over the Villanova University Wildcats (8-8, 3-5 BIG EAST) on Saturday afternoon in a BIG EAST matchup at the Higgins Soccer Complex. The Hoyas are currently 12-2-2 on the season and 8-0-0 in BIG EAST Conference play, sitting alone in first place with one game remaining in the regular season.

The championship marks the fifth in program history and the fourth under Head Coach Brian Wiese. Additionally, the Blue & Gray continued a 13-game unbeaten streak which is a new program record, and set a new program record for consecutive wins with 10.

“We started the game really well, and created some good opportunities that we didn’t take,” said Wiese. “The penalty focused the guys really well, and Bakie’s goal was a really good goal. It was important that we equalized before half to settle the team. Villanova has some weapons we had to manage, and we did a decent job doing that.”

Georgetown was aggressive from the start, as a restart from senior forward Brandon Allen (Old Bridge, N.J./St. Joseph) forced Villanova keeper Will Steiner to make a diving save just minutes in. Sophomore midfielder Arun Basuljevic (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) added another shot from the top of the box that was a near goal as the Hoyas were buzzing early.

Villanova had its first solid look in the 13th minute when a header off of a corner kick was tipped by freshman goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski (Alamo, Calif./De La Salle) and went off of the crossbar. The game changed in the 19th minute as the Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick which was finished by Sean Sheridan to make it 1-0.

Georgetown came roaring back in the 26th minute as senior defender Keegan Rosenberry (Ronks, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) sent in a ball from the top right corner of the box. There was a dummy in the middle by junior forward Alex Muyl (New York, N.Y./Bard), and it went to junior midfielder Bakie Goodman (Sarasota, Fla./Pine View School for the Gifted) at the far post who buried it for the equalizer.

Steiner was active in the net as a shot from Basuljevic hit the crossbar and the rebound went to Rosenberry who fired again and forced the keeper to dive to his right to make the save and keep it tied.

Late in the half, Marcinkowki was forced to make a big stop from close range and the teams went into the break tied at one.

The Blue & Gray had a majority of possession in the second half as Muyl was active forcing Steiner to tip a ball over the bar and missing another counter just wide right.

Allen proved to be the hero once again for his fourth game winner of the season, when sophomore midfielder Christopher Lema (Ridgefield, N.J./St. Stephen’s Episcopal School) gave it to Allen at the 18. The senior striker tapped it to Basuljevic starting the give-and-go as he charged toward the net and received the ball right back before finishing in the back of the goal to give GU the 2-1 advantage.

“The interplay to get Brandon in behind was really good,” said Wiese. “We had two nice goals which is all you can ask for to win the league.”

The Hoyas outshot the Wildcats, 21-7, and took six corner kicks to Villanova’s three. Marcinkowski was awarded the win in the net with two saves in the game, while Steiner took the loss notching seven stops.

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