WASHINGTON - The No. 18 Georgetown University men's soccer team defeated third-seeded St. John's (9-7-3), 2-1, Wednesday afternoon at Shaw Field in the BIG EAST Conference semifinal. With the victory, the second-seeded Hoyas improve to 13-3-2 overall and advance to the BIG EAST Championship game on Sunday.
"We did a really good job today and we outworked them in the first 15 or 20 minutes," said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. "We broke quickly, we were proactive in transition and the first goal was as good as it gets. The first 15 or 20 minutes were about as good as we could have asked of them. If you're a little grumpy about anything, it's that we didn't get a second or third goal early which kept the game anxiously close."
It took just 74 seconds for the Hoyas to get on the board as senior forward Zach Knudson (Oakland, N.J./DePaul Catholic/UCLA) sent it to senior forward Declan McCabe (Weston, Mass./The Rivers School) on the left side. He passed it to the near post where sophomore forward Achara (Enugu, Nigeria/Berkshire School [Mass.]) was charging and he tapped it in in his first start since Oct. 6.
The Hoyas continued to look dangerous as Achara and company had a number of good looks that were off target. Despite the strong play and dominating offense, Georgetown could only net one in the first half.
Late in the stanza, the Red Storm began to pressure creating chaos in front of the net. Despite more possession, St. John's couldn't put one in to allow the Hoyas to hang on to the 1-0 lead at the break.
The Red Storm continued to push early in the second half and had its most dangerous look of the game midway through the second half as a shot from Filippo Ricupati clanged off of the post from close range.
Georgetown settled the game and moved forward as the coaching staff subbed in some new legs. The tactic worked as BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Derek Dodson (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) immediately got on his horse and tested the Red Storm defense.
In the 66th minute, senior midfielder Christopher Lema (Ridgefield, N.J./Ridgefield Memorial) sent a corner into the box and it found the foot of Dodson who notched his ninth goal of the season.
The Red Storm made a game of it in the 77th minute as a Georgetown turnover gave the Red Storm the ball and Harry Cooksley connected to make it 2-1.
The Hoya defense stood strong for the final 13 minutes of play as St. John's searched for the equalizer. It would never come and Georgetown held on for the 2-1 victory.
St. John's outshot GU, 19-16, but the Hoyas took seven corner kicks while the Red Storm were awarded four. Georgetown keeper JT Marcinkowski (Alamo, Calif./De La Salle) took the win with four saves in the contest. Andrew Withers had the loss tallying six saves on the afternoon.
Georgetown will fourth-seeded Xavier in the championship game at Shaw Field on Sunday at noon. Xavier advanced on penalty kicks following a 2-2 tie against top-seeded Butler. The contest will be broadcast on FS2.