WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's soccer team (14-3-2) earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament on Monday afternoon. The team received the 14th overall seed in the tournament of 48 where the top 16 teams are seeded and receive a first-round bye. This marks GU's sixth tournament berth in the past eight seasons.
The squad needed extra minutes, but it paid off as the Blue & Gray defeated fourth-seeded Xavier University, 2-1, in double overtime on Sunday at Shaw Field to claim the 2017 BIG EAST Championship and earn an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. It marked the second championship in three years for the Blue & Gray as well as the second tournament championship in program history.
The Blue & Gray has been in the national polls since Sept. 5. Last week, the team was No. 18 in the United Soccer Coaches' Poll and Georgetown moved to No. 15 in TopDrawerSoccer.com's poll on Monday.
The Hoyas have received a number of accolades this season with the squad earning one of the BIG EAST's top awards.
Forward Derek Dodson (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year as well as earning a spot on the second team. Senior captain Christopher Lema (Ridgefield, N.J./Ridgefield Memorial) and junior defender Brendan McDonough (Matthews, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) were named to the first team, while junior goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski (Alamo, Calif./De La Salle) and senior forward Declan McCabe (Weston, Mass./The Rivers School) joined Dodson on the second team.
Three Hoyas were named to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team including Dodson, Jacob Montes (Lake Worth, Fla./Beaverton [Ore.]) and Sean O'Hearn (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield).
Georgetown's NCAA Tournament berth is the sixth under Head Coach Brian Wiese. The Hoyas have been to the tournament on seven previous occasions. In 2015, the Hoyas failed to advance on penalty kicks against Boston College in the Sweet 16, and the year prior Georgetown failed to advance against the eventual national champions, the University of Virginia, in the Elite 8.
In 2012, the squad was the national runner up falling to Indiana, 1-0, in the national championship game. Prior to that season, the program had never moved beyond the second round of the tournament with previous appearances in 2010, 1997 and 1994. The Hoyas are 8-4-5 overall in the NCAA Tournament.
The Blue & Gray will play the winner of Southern Methodist University and Central Arkansas University who will meet on Thursday. Georgetown is 0-1 all-time against SMU with the last meeting coming in 2007, a 1-0 Hoya loss at the SMU/Mi Cocina Classic. The Mustangs won the American Athletic Conference and is currently ranked No. 11 in the most recent coaches' poll. This would be the first meeting against Central Arkansas. The Bears won the Missouri Valley Conference.
Kickoff for the second round will be on Sunday, November 19 at Shaw Field at 1 p.m. Live stats and a free webcast featuring Dan Helfrich and Tom Greaser will be available at www.GUHoyas.com. The first 1,000 Georgetown students will receive free admission into the game.