It was a game about pride.
Villanova had already locked-in on the 5-seed for the Big East Tournament that is set to begin on Tuesday. Win or lose, it would not have any affect on seeding for them. However, a win for the Hoyas and a loss to either Creighton or Xavier, would guarantee the Hoyas one of the top two seeds for the Big East Tournament. The two teams that finished first and second in the conference were rewarded with a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
Aside from the conference standings and tournament seeding, this game had other meaning for the Wildcats. It was Senior Day for the Men’s Soccer team. As every athlete who has played at the high school or collegiate level knows, you don’t want to lose on Senior Day. Seniors want to be able to look back with pride in winning their last home game. Underclassmen want to push themselves to do well for their teammates and hope for the same treatment when they become seniors. Six seniors – Colton Bryant, Aaron Dennis, Hayden Harr, J.T. Maurer, Oscar Umar and Matt Wiltse were honored in a special pre game ceremony.
The Wildcats did not have an easy task, Georgetown entered the match ranked #11 in the nation. The Hoyas lived up to that expectation, they had eight of the first ten shots in the game. They were in the driver’s seat and pushed Villanova back onto their heels. Georgetown would draw first blood. A shot by Brandon Allen was saved by Villanova’s Will Steiner, however Austin Martz would come in and collect the rebound. Martz’s open shot resulted in the first goal of the game, giving the Hoyas a quick 1-0 lead with just 8:35 into the game. Georgetown appeared as if they were going to add to their lead, but Steiner and the Villanova defense did enough to stop them.
Slowly, Villanova started to make their presence known as momentum started to shift. Their defensive play began to settle in and gave the offense some opportunities. 39 minutes into the game, Umar unleashed a shot that would be saved by Georgetown’s Tomas Gomez. However, a few minutes later, Umar would return and get involved in a goal-scoring play. Georgetown was whistled for a penalty and Villanova executed a quick restart as the Hoyas were out of place. At 42:47, Oscar Umar found sophomore Andreas Bartosinski, who drilled it just above the outstretched arms of Tomas Gomez for the equalizing goal. It was the sophomore’s first career goal for the Wildcats. The game would remain tied going into the intermission. Georgetown boasted a 11-5 shot advantage over Villanova.
The second half of play was much more tighter and even between the two teams. Each team had four shots in the second half. Penalties and improved defenses hindered both teams from gaining any momentum on the attacking side. However, Georgetown would find an opening and supply the heartbreaking goal late in the game to seal the deal. At the 84:13 mark in the game, Bakie Goodman fed Arun Basuljevic, who put it in from the left side to give the Hoyas a 2-1 lead over the Wildcats. Georgetown hung on and Villanova was saddled with the loss.
Villanova will take on 4th-seeded Providence on Tuesday for the opening round of the Big East Tournament.