The Georgetown men’s soccer season ended Sunday in the same sad manner as last year — with opponents trampling across the mush of Shaw Field after toppling the Hoyas on penalty kicks.
In 2014, it was Virginia during the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. This autumn, in the round of 16, it was Boston College, which outlasted the third-seeded Hoyas in a tiebreaker, 5-4, following a 1-1 draw through 110 minutes.
“It’s hard because it’s the second year in a row you feel like you have a team that might be able to win the whole thing,” Georgetown Coach Brian Wiese said, “and penalties are a hard way to go out.”
Officially, because tiebreakers go into the record books as draws, the Hoyas (16-2-3) will carry a program-record, 18-game unbeaten streak into next season. That’s little consolation for the Big East champions, who had won a record-setting 14 in a row entering the weekend and went almost three months without a defeat.
The senior class was the most accomplished in program history: four consecutive national tournaments, including the 2012 final and 2014 quarterfinals. With an experienced backline anchored by Joshua Yaro and a diverse attack that played attractive soccer, the Hoyas were bonafide contenders.
But Boston College (11-7-2) was the better side for much of the gray afternoon, unsettling Georgetown’s flow and attacking with menace. The Eagles went ahead in the 19th minute on freshman Trevor Davock’s sixth goal of the season and had several chances to expand the lead.
“They did a good job in disrupting what we try to do well, and that’s keep the ball and find a good rhythm offensively,” senior defender Keegan Rosenberry said. “We could’ve responded a little better to the way they came out and tried a few things differently.”
Laboring in the run of play, the Hoyas drew even in the 60th minute on a set piece, a one-timer by Rosenberry off a corner kick. “The goal came against anything we were really earning,” Wiese said.
The goal did inspire more proactive soccer from the Hoyas, but BC’s counterattacks, sparked by Bermudian midfielder Zeiko Lewis and Ghanaian wing Isaac Normesinu, kept the hosts on their toes. Georgetown was better during 20 minutes of sudden-death extra time but the match-winner remained elusive despite several good looks in dangerous positions.
“We kept going, and from the most part, we did a good job pinning them in and trying to get the second goal,” said Yaro, who is widely regarded as the finest defender in the nation and will weigh an MLS offer this winter.
In the tiebreaker, Wiese switched goalkeepers. Freshman JT Marcinkowski had been terrific as usual, but in a specialized situation in which height can make a difference, Wiese decided to turn to Mitchell Auer (one previous appearance this year). At 6 feet 5, the junior has a four-inch advantage on Marcinkowski.
It did not matter. The Eagles struck their attempts well, converting all five without threat of a save. They gained the advantage in the third round when Rosenberry’s bid sailed over the crossbar.
In the fifth round, with Georgetown needing a save or BC miss to prolong the match, Len Zeugner fired off the underside of the crossbar and into the net to send the Eagles into the quarterfinals for the first time in 13 years. They will visit sixth-seeded Syracuse (15-5-3), which defeated Seattle, 3-1.
“I really hadn’t thought about not playing next week,” Wiese said. “It didn’t even cross my mind. It’s always going to be a hard game, but you have a lot of faith in the players — so much great quality on the field and so many great seniors that are program-defining. It’s going to be very interesting and odd to not see them on the field next year.”
MARYLAND 2, NOTRE DAME 1: In South Bend, Ind., freshmen Ivan Magalhaes and Eryk Williamson (T.C. Williams High School, D.C. United academy) scored in the first half as the 10th-seeded Terrapins upset the No. 7 Fighting Irish.
In next weekend’s quarterfinals, Maryland (12-5-5) will face No. 2 Clemson, which edged No. 15 seed UC Santa Barbara, 3-2, later Sunday.
In a rematch of the 2013 NCAA final, the Big Ten champions went ahead in the 21st minute when Magalhaes headed in Mael Corboz’s free kick for his first career goal. Seventeen minutes later, Corboz headed to Williamson, who cut back deep in the box and slotted home from eight yards for his sixth goal in six matches.
Sophomore Patrick Bernesky’s header in the 41st minute halved the deficit for Notre Dame (11-5-6), which then gained a man advantage with about 12 minutes left when Magalhaes received a second yellow card. The center back will have to sit out the quarterfinal.
Junior Cody Niedermeier (Broadneck High School, United academy) made one save for the Terrapins, who are 5-0-1 in their past six outings.
Corboz’s 12 assists are the most by a Terrapin since Stephen King in 2007 (13).
“We needed to have a championship effort and we got one,” Maryland Coach Sasho Cirovski said. “We had to deal with the adversity of being a man down for the final 12 minutes and our guys hung tough. They were Terrapin tough tonight. This is not an easy place to win. If you can win here, you can win anywhere. We’re looking forward to the next challenge.”