Going into Wednesday afternoon’s matchup with Georgetown, the UConn Men’s Soccer team knew they would have their work cut out for them. The Hoyas have dominated their way through their schedule, coming into the game against the Huskies owning a record of 13-2, winning seven of their nine conference affairs and going undefeated in the nation’s capital, maintaining a 9-0 mark at Shaw Field.
The pressure came early and often from Georgetown, as they registered several shots in the opening minutes on UConn goalkeeper Jahmali Waite. The Hoyas conducted a balanced attack that saw Kyle Linhares and Dante Polvara attempting shots on target that forced Waite to get off the line and make two saves within the first 15 minutes of play. UConn had their chances to jump ahead on the best team in the Big East, as Okem Chime and Felix Metzler peppered the net and Georgetown goalie Giannis Nikopolidis with shots of their own midway through the first half.
Georgetown responded in the closing minutes of the first half, first knocking at the door with a Stefan Stojanovic shot that was saved by Waite, and then, breaking through in the 40 minute mark with the first goal of the contest. Super sub Ronan Dillon came in for Stojanovic and immediately made his presence felt, striking home a Sean Zawadzki feed. The freshman from West Hartford scored his third goal of the season, his first one since the end of August.
UConn almost notched an equalizer mere minutes into the second half, but Nikopolidis was there to stop an Ahdan Tait shot to keep the Hoyas ahead coming out of the break. From that point on, the Husky offense struggled to get anything going, failing to record a shot for almost the duration of the final 40 minutes. Waite tried to keep his visiting UConn squad within reach, making saves on multiple occasions, stopping Chris Hegardt and Zach Riviere from providing an insurance goal for Georgetown.
The last ditch effort from the Huskies came with only five minutes remaining in the game, but shots from Jayden Reid and Bjorn Nikolajewski could not find the back of the net. With the Huskies offense sputtering, as UConn fell to Georgetown by a final score of 1-0.
UConn got outshot by the Hoyas 11-6 throughout the afternoon, only putting half of those six shots on target and with the majority of their opportunities coming in the first half. The Georgetown defense prevented the visiting Huskies from getting onto their third of the field, as UConn failed to attempt a corner kick in the final 45 minutes after only notching one in the first half.
On the defensive end, the Huskies struggled to contain Georgetown without fouling, with 18 on the day, including 11 in the second half that slowed momentum on both sides of the ball. This inhibited the potential for an equalizer attempt that UConn had sought after all day. The hurdle of scoring multiple goals that plagued the Huskies all season was again not cleared, spelling bad news for a squad that had not suffered a defeat when scoring at least two goals in a game. This was the fourth time that UConn had been shut out, with the last time coming almost a month ago in a 1-0 defeat against Villanova.
The offensive performance was highlighted by the second lowest number of shots the Huskies had registered in a game, tying the mark of six shots in their win against Seton Hall along with a four shot performance in their matchup with Providence that saw UConn lose by one goal.
UConn finishes the 2021 season with a record of 7-7-2, accompanied by a 2-6-2 record in Big East conference play that knocked them out of contention for a chance at the conference crown. While the Huskies defended their home field at a solid mark of 6-3-2, they could not carry this momentum on the road and dropped four of their five contests away from Storrs. Georgetown moves on to await their opponent in the first round of the Big East tournament, which will take place next Thursday, November 11th, at Shaw Field, where they have won all of the previous contests.