Grasso's Goal Seals Overtime Victory Over Rutgers
Sept. 26, 2008
Washington, D.C. - It took a few minutes extra, but the No. 24 Georgetown University men's soccer squad won it's second BIG EAST game of the season with a 2-1 overtime thriller against Rutgers University (3-3-2, 0-2-1 BIG EAST) in Piscataway, N.J., Friday evening. The Hoyas scored early in the game and then waited 91 minutes to find the back of the net again. With the win, Georgetown improves to 7-2-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the BIG EAST.
For the second game in a row, the Hoyas came out hot scoring in the opening minutes. In just the second minute, junior Mark Zeman (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Twp) served a corner kick into the box and midfielder Robert Burnett (Plano, Texas/Plano West) managed to get his head on it putting the Hoyas up 1-0 and notching his first score of the season.
"We started very well," said Head Coach Brian Wiese. "We got a terrific goal in the first two minutes off of a set-piece and I think we really played well for the first 25."
Georgetown played a physical game for the remainder of the first allowing eight shots while taking six of its own. Once again, the coaching staffed switched up the keepers opting for Mark Wilbur (Tijeras, N.M./Albuquerque Acad.) in the net for the Hoyas. The redshirt freshman had an outstanding half with four saves to his credit.
"The conditions were tough and I think they handled it better than we did," said Wiese. "It was wet, the field was slick and guys were falling all over the place. We really had to adjust."
As the second half started, it was Rutgers turn to get on the board with a free kick hitting the post which was then deflected into the net by Nye Winslow for the equalizer. This wouldn't be the last of the Scarlet Knight offense with the team tallying 11 shots in the second period and taking four corners while the Hoyas were awarded none.
The Georgetown defense continued to do what it has been all season and found a way to stop shots and keep the score tied. Wilbur once again had four saves in the half as time ran out forcing the overtime period.
"Big Mark Wilbur played a terrific game," said Wiese. "I felt bad he didn't get the shutout because he had three to four saves that were world class. He really kept the game manageable for us."
Rutgers got off the first shot of overtime but it went wide giving the Hoyas a goal kick. Wilbur sent the ball which sparked what would be the winning series. Zeman crossed it from the right side finding Peter Grasso (Burr Ridge,Ill./Hinsdale Central) in the middle of the box who headed it in for the game winner in the 94th minute and Zeman's second assist of the contest.
The Hoyas came away with the victory despite taking seven fewer shots (20-13) and four fewer corners (7-3). Wilbur and the Georgetown defense came up with 10 saves on the day.
"I'm really happy for our guys," said Wiese. "Last year at this time we were 2-7 and this year we are 7-2. That is really a testament to how hard they have worked to take us where we need to be."
GU will be back in action on Sunday as the team travels to Villanova to face the Wildcats in the second BIG EAST game of the weekend. The contest is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.