Sept. 27, 2016
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's soccer squad found its offense with a 3-1 victory over the American University Eagles (4-3-3) on Tuesday afternoon at Shaw Field in a local nonconference clash. The Hoyas scored multiple goals in a contest for the first time this season to improve to 3-6-0 overall.
“It’s an important result to get back on the right foot, when you look through the game, a lot of seniors were really good for us today,” said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. “Mitchell Auer in goal made a couple fantastic saves in critical moments, Brett Campbell getting the tying goal and Jon Azzinnari getting the game winner, getting a few different guys on the score sheet was important. American is a really good team this year and getting that result is huge for where we are right now.”
It was a scary moment for the Hoyas in the first five minutes as senior goalkeeper Mitchell Auer (Columbus, Ohio/Dunlap [Ill.]), making his first-career start, came up with a save from close range and the rebound was fired back in but went wide.
Minutes later, the Eagles struck as a 1v1 on the right side resulted in a score as leading scorer, Joe Iraola, used a crafty touch to make it 1-0 in the 8th minute.
The Hoyas didn’t hang their heads, however, the team came right back firing.
An offside call at midfield gave the Hoyas a restart that was sent to the right side. The ball came to sophomore defender Kyle Zajec (Westport, Conn./Staples) who came forward and dribbled through traffic. He served it to the back post to a waiting Brett Campbell (Wallingford, Pa./The Haverford School) who headed it in to tie the game in the 14th minute, 1-1.
On the next possession, it was Campbell who looked dangerous again with two shots from the middle of the box. The first was blocked, and the second had the keeper beat but rolled just wide.
In the final 15 minutes of the first, junior Matt Ledder (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) was dangerous on the right side as he had a number of looks. On the other end of the field, an AU shot hit the crossbar as both teams tried to take the lead before half.
No one could find the back of the net as the squads went into the break tied at one. American held the 9-6 advantage in shots and had two corners to GU’s one.
Georgetown took the lead just seven minutes into the second half off of a corner kick. Junior midfielder Christopher Lema (Ridgefield, N.J./St. Stephen's Episcopal School) served a ball to the back post and sophomore defender Brendan McDonough (Matthews, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) got up and headed it into the middle. Senior midfielder Jon Azzinnari (Nutley, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) managed to get a foot on it and poke it in to give GU the 2-1 lead. It marked Azzinnari’s first goal of the season, and the first of his career on the Hilltop.
The Hoyas continued to look good, but it was the defense that was strong as the Eagles countered and Auer dived to his left and stopped the open shot to keep the lead.
In the 66th minute, junior midfielder Arun Basuljevic (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) drew the penalty kick after a foul in the box. He connected on the shot to make it 3-1 and give the junior his first goal of the 2016 campaign.
Late in the half, Auer showed his skills with two huge saves to keep it a two-goal game. This would stand as the final as the Blue & Gray moved to 2-2 at home.
Georgetown was outshot, 17-13, and the Eagles took nine corner kicks to GU’s three. Auer picked up his first-career win in the net with six saves, while Lucas Belanger took the loss with two saves in the game.
The Hoyas will be back in action this weekend as the squad travels to Butler University for a 7 p.m. BIG EAST Conference matchup on Saturday night. Live stats and a webcast will be available www.GUHoyas.com.