Oct. 24, 2009
Morgantown, W.Va. - With only 15 minutes to go, things looked bleak for the Georgetown University men's soccer squad. The Hoyas trailed the No. RV/20 West Virginia Mountaineers (6-3-6, 5-2-2 BE) by a goal and couldn't get much going on offense. However, just minutes later the equalizer went in and from that point on even playing a man down didn't stop the Hoyas from getting the 2-1 victory snapping WVU's nine-game unbeaten streak as well as moving to 9-6-1 overall and 6-4 in the BIG EAST.
"We knew coming in that whoever scored the first goal would win the game, but we obviously didn't tell the boys that," said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. "When they scored we knew it would be tough because they're so good offensively and they pack it in when they have a lead. Luckily tonight we were able to find a way to win and that's a credit to our boys."
Georgetown had three solid shots to open the half but that momentum quickly faded into a defensive battle as the Mountaineers began to attack. In the 22nd minute, a foul just outside the box gave West Virginia a free kick which almost turned into a score but was called off due to an offside player.
However, just minutes later in a similar situation Abel Sebele crossed it to Uwem Etuk who looked to be all alone and offsides behind the Georgetown defense. Etuk headed it over Georgetown keeper Mark Wilber (Tijeras, N.M./Albuquerque Academy) for the score as the Hoya players and bench erupted in protest. Despite the questions, the goal stood forcing the Blue & Gray down 1-0.
The Hoyas continued to struggle on offense for the remainder of the half but held the Mountaineers on defense to go into the break trailing 1-0. In the first half, Georgetown was outshot 9-3 and took just one corner kick. Both keepers tallied one save in the first 45 minutes.
The Blue & Gray has been a second-half team all season and this game was no different as Georgetown came out shooting. Despite a number of solid attempts and increased possession, things weren't looking good as time ticked away and Georgetown still trailed.
In the 77th minute, the Hoyas broke open the game as Seth C'deBaca (Albuquerque, N.M./Sandia Prep) took the ball down the right side and slid it to Chandler Diggs (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) who managed to get off an impressive shot to the far post for the equalizer. Georgetown's work was not done yet, however, as both squads started to shoot looking to get the game-winner.
"I think it was a lift that we needed at that point in the game," said Diggs. "We needed to make a play and fortunately the shot went in. We didn't get down on ourselves when we were behind because we knew we had to keep fighting to have a chance to play in postseason so we got together and decided to push for it."
WVU had a number of chances off corners and a dangerous free kick just inches outside the box, but the defense stayed strong. Trying to continue another successful defensive set, Rob Burnett (Plano, Texas/Plano West) committed a hard foul and was given a red card in the 87th minute forcing Georgetown to play a man down the remainder of the game. The card fired up the Blue & Gray as the team looked more determined than ever to get the victory.
Following the card, Georgetown stopped the free kick and countered on the other end. Jose Colchao (Fairfax, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary School) was dribbling down the middle of the field and saw junior Scott Larrabee (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Loyola High School of Los Angeles) pacing him on the right. Colchao scooped the ball up over the defender's head and right in front of Larrabee who took a touch on his head before coming down with it and firing past the keeper for the game-winner. A few minutes of solid defense sealed it as Georgetown went on for the 2-1 victory.
"Things looked pretty bleak when Rob got his red card, but Jose played a perfect ball and I headed it in front of me. It bounced once and I just wound up and tried to hit it with my laces," said Larrabee. "I scored the game winner against West Virginia last year and coming off the goal against Notre Dame I just hope my stats continue to help the team."
The Blue & Gray was outshot 13-9 and took only one corner in the match to West Virginia's six but still managed the victory. Both keepers notched three saves as Wilber improved to 5-2 for the season.
"We hope to roll off of this win and go strong into the last two games of the season so we can go into the BIG EAST Tournament with momentum," said Diggs.
The Hoyas close out the regular season with a pair of home contests next week. Georgetown will host cross-town rival, American on Wednesday at North Kehoe Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. Live stats and a live webcast featuring Dan Helfrich will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.