DMV NCAA Soccer: 2017 Review and 2018 Preview

NCAA DMV Soccer Schedule

It was an exciting college soccer season in 2017 here in the DMV, with plenty to be excited about heading into next year. We’ll also have a new Division I program, Mount Saint Mary’s, competing in the DMV in Fall of 2018.

DMV Tournament Teams

University of Maryland was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when they lost in PK’s to a tough University of Albany team, behind an outstanding performance by Albany goalkeeper Danny Vitiello.

There is little doubt that Coach Sasho Cirovski and his squad will be looking to come back stronger next season, and make a return to the College Cup. Graduating seniors include starters Jake Rozhansky and George Campbell, but the good news is that the Terps will be coming into next season with another year of experience under their belts, using the devastating tourney loss at home as motivation. The team is stacked with juniors like Eryk Williamson, Sebastian Elney, Amar Sejdic, Gordon Wild, the list goes on. Donovan Pines and Dayne St Clair will come back even stronger, and the Terps have a pretty decent recruiting class coming in which includes locals Justin Gielen (a dynamic forward from DeMatha who has professional ambitions), as well as defenders Nick Richardson who has been in the u-17 National Team mix and won last year’s Gatorade National Player of the Year…as only a junior…as well as defender Brett Saint Martin, who was voted All-State, All-American, All-Everything. All three players are on Coach Barry Stitz‘s Baltimore Celtic 2000 team, who compete at every level and are one of the best teams in the country.

Georgetown had another successful season under head coach Brian Wiese, winning the Big East Championship and earning a first-round NCAA Tournament bye. The Hoyas lost a heart-breaker at home to SMU in the NCAA tourney with only FOURTEEN seconds left in double overtime, but have an extremely young roster more than capable of returning to national prominence next season, highlighted by Junior standout goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, who was outstanding all season for the Hoyas and seems destined to be a big-time professional goalkeeper once his playing days are over with Georgetown.

VCU was this season’s DMV Cinderella story, beating Maryland at Maryland 3-0 in the regular season, beating Rhode Island twice, and earning a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament. It was the third NCAA Tournament appearance under 8th-year head coach Dave Giffard, who continues to establish himself as one of the top NCAA Soccer coaches in the country, looking to continue to build the Rams into national contention again next season.

 

UVA finished the season in the Top 10 in National rankings and will likely come back strong next year like they always do, earning a first-round bye in this year’s NCAA Tournament and finishing the season with a 12-4-5 record in a very tough ACC Conference. The Cavaliers finished with a 12-3-5 record, losing only 3 games despite being ranked number 9 nationally in the NCAA RPI Rankings. The Cavaliers’ Head Coach George Gelnovatch will enter his 23rd season in 2018, and 2017 was his TWENTY SECOND straight NCAA Tournament appearance, an NCAA record.

ODU won Conference USA, won their first-round NCAA Tournament game against NC State, and have a young nucleus in place highlighted by freshman standout midfielder Brandon Purdue. The Monarchs finished with a 13-6-2 record, were ranked 28th in RPI Rankings, and will look to return to the NCAA Tournament for a seventh time in the past nine seasons under head coach Alan Dawson, who has served as ODU’s Head Coach for 21 seasons, making the NCAA Tournament 12 times since taking over in 1997.

William and Mary won the CAA Conference Title and also made the NCAA Tournament, led by Junior striking sensation Antonio Bustamante, who finished the season with 15 goals and 5 assists, and scored FOUR goals in William and Mary’s CAA Quarterfinal game vs Hofstra.

And Virginia Tech also made the NCAA Tournement after a successful season in a tough ACC conference, beating Air Force in the first round before eventually bowing out to Michigan State in the second round.

In total, SEVEN teams from the DC/MD/VA area made the NCAA tournament in 2017, but the prospect of even more teams from the area competing for a spot next season is just as exciting.

Looking to Compete for an NCAA Tournament Spot Next Season

George Washington finished with a 9-7-2 record this season, competing in the Atlantic-10 conference. Freshmen Oscar Haynes Brown, Brady O’Connor, Simon Fitch, and Peirce Williams all got valuable minutes this season, and look to take the next step next year as head coach Craig Jones and his coaching staff continue recruiting efforts as they look to continue to build a competitive program in DC.

UMBC competed with a number of teams who made the tournament this season, beating Maryland at home, beating New Hampshire, and beating Albany in the regular season before losing to them in the conference tournament. The Retrievers graduate a few key seniors this year with starters Gregg Hauck, Cormac Noel, Tom Paul, and Sammy Kahsai all making way for younger players to step up next season. Matt Bailey and goalkeeper Ciaran O’Loughlin were both voted to America East All-Rookie team, and with U-17 National Team goalkeeper Quantrell Jones committed to UMBC for next season, the competition every day in training for Coach Pete Caringi’s Retrievers will start from the goal and hopefully work it’s way throughout the rest of the team, as UMBC look for players like Bailey, Tre PulliamTre McCallaPatrick Jean-Gilles, David Harris, and James Gielen looking to replace the goals that they’ll be losing with Kahsai moving on.

Loyola missed out on an NCAA Tournament spot despite playing an exciting brand of soccer all season. Steve Nichols‘ Greyhounds will come back even stronger next season, with a good young talented squad. Freshman Goalkeeper Chase Vosvick made First-Team Northeast Regional Team as a freshman, as well as Patriot League Rookie of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year. Sophomore Brian Saramago will look to stay healthy in 2018 after being voted First-Team All-Patriot League, and the amount of talent that Coach Nichols has at his disposal next season with guys like Barry Sharifi, Nico Brown, Sam BrownJosh Fawole, as well as standout incoming center back Jake Dengler, who (last I heard) was set to transfer to Loyola from CCBC-Essex for next season, should see the Greyhounds be in the Nationally-ranked conversation next year.

Making Progress

George Mason, who were receiving votes for National Top 25 at the beginning of the season, will look to bounce back next year with a revamped squad after they graduate six seniors this season and 1 graduate student. One of the graduating seniors are leading scorer Henning Dirks, who scored 10 goals and added 7 assists this season. The Patriots finished with a 5-9-2 record but are very well coached under Head Coach Greg Andrulis, who will be looking to build on this season heading into 2018.

James Madison, who I thought looked very balanced at the beginning of the season, finished the season with a 9-7-3 record but earned some victories against quality opponents this season. They beat William and Mary 4-3 in regular season (before losing to them in Conference Championship Semifinal), beat 15th-ranked UNC Wilmington 2-0, and also defeated an FIU team in preseason who ended up going on to second round of NCAA Tournament before losing to Duke. JMU is only graduating one senior this season, and have a good core group of young players returning, including sophomore midfielder Manuel Ferriol who led the team in scoring with 7 goals, as well as midfielder Ben Dao.

Navy, for as much as we wrote about them in the offseason, were bound to have another difficult season ahead of them as Coach Tim O’Donohue and his coaching staff continue to revamp their squad.

The Midshipmen started four freshmen throughout most of the season, with a number of guys getting valuable minutes heading into next year.

Navy’s recruiting class is looking pretty impressive for next season, with TEN high school seniors currently committed to Navy, including local standout center back Tyler Collins from Mount St Joe’s (also a part of Baltimore Celtic 2000 team), Baltimore Armour U18/19 player Jacob Williams (one of the team’s leading scorers), two outstanding young goalkeepers in Tyler Fahning of Minnesota Thunder Academy, and Johan Penaranda who starts for a very talented NYCFC U18/19 USSDA team. A full list of Navy’s verbal commitments:

Navy Soccer

But what many don’t realize is that the DMV will have ANOTHER division one program competing in the area next season.

Mount Saint Mary’s, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, has reinstated their Men’s Soccer program and are returning next season after a few years on hiatus. This is a program which had some success under former head coach Rob Ryerson in the early 2000’s, and will compete in the NEC Northeast Conference.

mount st marys soccer

New head coach Bryan Cunningham, who was formerly the Head Coach at UCF, has a reputation for developing MLS-level talent, including three first-round MLS Draft selections in Romario Williams (2015/1st rd/3rd overall pick), Deshorn Brown (2013/1st rd/6thoverall pick) and Hadji Barry (2016/1st rd/13th overall pick), in addition to current US National Team and NYFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson (2010/4th rd).

We had a quick discussion with Coach Cunningham earlier today, and he is more than excited about the quality of players his program has been recruiting ever since this past January when he took over as head coach.

“We’re very lucky to have the full support of the University. The President and Administration are all very serious about athletics here at the Mount, and we’re very excited about the team we’re putting together. Between the incoming freshmen, JuCo transfers, and other guys coming in, we think we’ll not only be competitive next season, but could make a case to become a Top 25 program.”

Coach Cunningham named Trevor Singer as his assistant coach back in August. Coach Singer was formerly an Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at George Mason, who also spent some time at Temple. He has Academy coaching experience with FC Delco, and also serves as a National Team scout within the Region 1 ODP Program.

I asked Coach Cunningham about what he and his coaching staff thought of the quality of talent here in the DMV area, as they continue their local recruiting efforts which have resulted in verbal commitments from players at clubs like DC United, Baltimore Celtic, SAC, Baltimore Armour, and a host of others.

“In Florida, there were tons of quality players in the area from a host of different backgrounds, so we were lucky to have a lot of quality to choose from. We didn’t really have to leave our home market a ton, and here in the DMV area it’s very similar. The quality of talent here in this area is outstanding.”

Coach Cunningham wasn’t able to shed too much light on next season’s team until National Signing Day, but from what we’ve heard and what he tells us off the record, the prospect of ANOTHER Division 1 program competing in the DMV can only help raise the level of play here in the area.

“In terms of non-Conference games, we’re lining some matches up with top local programs and having discussions with a few teams that should see us with a Top 50 schedule next season. We definitely plan on playing local DMV matches, and are excited to compete in an area with so much talent.”

In terms of what to expect from Mount St Mary’s in Coach Cunningham’s first season, don’t expect them to park the bus every match either.

“We’re going to to attack. We’re not going to stay defensive and grind away to get results. I’d rather go 0-18 and play the right way, then have a winning season sitting in all match. Obviously I don’t expect us to go 0-18 with the amount of speed and athleticism we’ll have next season, but look for us to knock the ball and look to attack from the start”.

2018 NCAA DMV Season

Should Be Exciting

 

Between the seven teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament this season (Virginia, Georgetown, VCU, Virginia Tech, Maryland, ODU, William and Mary), the teams who competed this past season and look to take the next step in 2018 (Loyola, GW, UMBC), and the teams rebuilding through youth who are looking to play an attacking style of soccer next season (Navy, Mount Saint Mary’s, American U), there is a lot to be excited about heading into Spring NCAA Soccer and leading into next Fall.

Be sure to keep following us on Twitter @dmvsoccerdotcom as we’ll keep you updated on recruiting efforts for all DMV NCAA programs.

 

DMV NCAA Tournament Guide

The 2017 NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket was announced on Monday, with SEVEN teams from DC, MD, or Virginia participating in this year’s tournament.

Below you will find the 2017 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament bracket, each DMV team’s matchup,  links to purchase tickets for home games, as well as live stream links for each team.

2017 NCAA Tournament Bracket

NCAA Tourney Bracket

Thursday DMV Home Games

University of Maryland

Ludwig Field- College Park, MD

vs Albany, 7pm

University of Maryland soccer

 

Tickets:  $10 for adults, $5 for youth

Watch Live: BTNPlus

William and Mary

Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field- Williamsport, VA

7pm vs Columbia

William and Mary Soccer

Buy Tickets $8 for adults, $3 for youth

Watch Live: N/A

Virginia Tech

Thompson Field, Blacksburg, VA

6pm vs Air Force

VA Tech Soccer

 $10 for adults, $5 for youth

Watch Live: N/A

Old Dominion University

ODU Soccer Complex, Norfolk VA

vs NC State, 7pm

ODU Soccer

Buy Tickets $8 for adults, $3 for youth

Watch Live: N/A

Sunday DMV Home Games

Georgetown Hoyas

Shaw Field, Washington, DC

vs winner of SMU and Central Arkansas, 1pm

georgetown soccer

Buy Tickets $10 for adults, $5 for youth

Watch Live: N/A

VCU

Sports Backer Stadium- Richmond, VA

vs winner of Butler and Lipscomb, 5pm

VCU Soccer

Buy Tickets $10 adult $8 youth

Watch Live: N/A

University of Virginia

Klockner Stadium, Charlottesville, VA

vs winner of Fordham and St Francis, 5pm

UVA Soccer

Buy Tickets $7 for adults, $5 for youth

Watch Live: N/A

 

College Soccer Preview: Week 4

NCAA DMV Soccer Schedule

There are some big games for DMV-area college programs this week, including the following:

Tuesday, September 19

GW @ #8 UNC 

Chapel Hill, 7pm

Watch live via stream

GW (2-3-1) Head Coach Craig Jones and team head to Chapel Hill to take on nationally-ranked UNC on Tuesday night. The Tarheels are 6-1 this season, coming off of wins this week against William and Mary (3-2) and Duke (2-1), and are currently second in the Coastal Division of the ACC.

GW comes into the match riding a streak of results as well, defeating Navy on Wednesday night 3-1 in Annapolis, followed by a double-overtime draw with UMBC on Saturday 1-1. Coach Jones seems to have found a bonafide starting forward in freshman Oscar Haynes-Brown, who scored in both matches and has scored 3 goals in his last 3 matches. Fellow freshman Brady O’Connor has started every GW match this season, scoring the game-winning penalty against Navy. This will be GW’s third match in 6 days, a difficult stretch for the Colonials who are 2-3-1 on the season.

ODU vs VCU

ODU, 7pm

ODU (3-1-2) Head Coach Alan Dawson and the Monarchs host VCU on Tuesday in a Virginia derby matchup. ODU is currently fourth in Conference USA standings, coming off of a 3-0 victory to open conference play against Florida Atlantic this past weekend. Freshman midfielder Brandon Perdue, who played for Richmond United USSDA, leads the team in scoring with four goals and an assist on the season, followed by Junior Max Wilschrey with 3 goals and an assist. Tuesday’s match will be the third in 7 days for ODU, defeating FAU and also earning a draw against a tough Campbell side last week, 1-1.

Virginia Tech vs Davidson

VT, 7pm

Watch live via stream

Virginia Tech (2-4) is coming off of two straight losses to ACC opponents: a 3-1 loss to Duke last weekend, followed by a 2-1 loss this past weekend to 12th-ranked Virginia. Head coach Mike Brizendine is hoping to get closer to a winning record after Tuesday’s match vs Davidson, who are 5-0-1 on the season and currently on top of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

American vs WVU

American, 3pm

American host a WVU side who is completing their third of three matches in the DMV area, coming off of a 3-1 victory over George Mason this past weekend, losing their first DMV match 3-1 vs UMBC this past week, American is 1-5-1 on the season, looking to turn things around against nationally-ranked WVU at home.

Wednesday September 20

 

UMBC vs Navy

UMBC, 7pm

Watch live via stream

A big DMV derby match on Wednesday night as UMBC hosts Navy at Retriever Park. UMBC (4-1-1) head coach Pete Caringi won his 450th collegiate game last Wednesday night, in a 3-1 victory against Nationally-ranked WVU, behind two goals from junior center back Kyle Saunderson and two assists from freshman Matt Bailey. This past weekend, the Retrievers came back from a 1-0 deficit at halftime to earn a 1-1 draw away against GW.

For Navy (1-5-1), head coach Tim O’Donohue continues to work with a younger squad, starting four freshmen and bringing a fifth off of the bench. The Midshipmen have lost their past 2 matches, a 3-1 home defeat to GW last week followed by a 2-1 loss at Duquesne on Saturday. Things don’t get any easier for Coach O’Donohue and company, with the UMBC match being the first of three games in a week for the Midshipmen.

JMU vs Radford

Radford, 7pm

Watch live via stream

JMU (3-2-1) head coach Tom Foley takes his Dukes’ side to Radford on Wednesday in another local DMV derby matchup. JMU defeated Niagra this past weekend 3-0 at home, Ben Dao scoring the first and leading the team in scoring with 3 goals.

Radford (coached by Bryheem Hancock) is also 3-2-1 on the season, coming off of a 2-0 victory against Howard this past weekend.

Georgetown vs Stony Brook

Georgetown, 4pm

Watch live via steam

Ninth-ranked Georgetown lost their first match of the season this past weekend, a 1-0 away loss to Xavier. Hoyas head coach Brian Wiese will look to get his side back to winning ways on Wednesday as they host Stony Brook who is 5-1-1 on the season and currently second in America East Conference standings.

For Georgetown, despite being 4-1-1 on the season and ranked ninth in the country, they are currently in seventh place in Big East standings, following their first conference loss this past weekend. Sophomore striker Achara leads the Hoyas in goals with five on the season, he also leads the team in shots with 12.

William and Mary vs Longwood

William and Mary, 6pm

Watch live via stream

William and Mary (3-2-2) is coming off of a 2-0 home victory against Campbell this past weekend, after dropping a close 3-2 away match against UNC last week. Head Coach Chris Norris’ Tribe team is currently fourth in CAA Conference standings, taking on a Longwood side which is 0-4-1 on the season. Antonio Bustamante, Ryder Bell, and William Eskay are all tied for leading goal scorers for William and Mary, with two goals a piece.

George Mason vs East Tennessee State

George Mason, 7pm

Watch live via stream

Mason head coach Greg Andrulis and company are currently in fourth place in Atlantic 10 Conference standings, with a 3-2-1 overall record. The teams above them: UMass and Fordham, are 4-2-1, so a win on Wednesday night at home could see the Patriots climb the conference standings as they host East Tennessee State.

East Tennessee State is 3-1-2 on the season, defeating Virginia Tech in preseason and also losing a closely-contested match against Nationally-ranked Kentucky 2-1.

For Mason, senior striker Henning Dirks leads the team in points with 4 goals and 5 assists, as well as in shots with 16 on the season. Sophomore Ryan Mingachos also has four goals, to go with Sophomore Tunde Akinlosotu‘s 2 goals and 2 assists on the season.

 

College Soccer Recap: #12 Georgetown hosts #1 Team in Country, UCLA

UCLA vs Georgetown

I took a trip to DC yesterday to watch the #12-ranked Georgetown Hoyas take on #1 UCLA, in what was a heated contest both on and off the field. Shaw Field, located directly on the Georgetown campus, was sold out, and the home crowd was absolutely electric. In terms of the weather, it felt like the sun was directly on top of everyone in attendance yesterday, and lets just say that there were probably more sweaty bodies in the crowd than there were on the field.

Both teams are coming off of tough losses from the weekend. UCLA, coming into the weekend ranked #1 in the country, suffered a 3-2 overtime defeat to the University of Maryland on Friday night in front of a record crowd at Ludwig field. Georgetown lost to an Akron team over the weekend which actually defeated Maryland last night. So, needless to say, both coaches would be doing all they could to come out of the weekend avoiding a pair of losses.

UCLA seemed to start off in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Georgetown Hoyas coach Brian Wiese favoring a 2-striker system with a 4-4-2 formation. Wiese got a ton of effort out of his entire team, especially up front through Senior striker Brandon Allen and Junior Alex Muyl. Allen is a big body, listed at 6’1″ but appearing much bigger on the field through his play. He was strong in hold up play, and worked his socks off throughout the match to make dangerous runs with and without the ball. Muyl, his striker partner, was no slouch either. His work rate and creativity, combined with his close touch in traffic, provided a number of opportunities against a UCLA defense that struggled to contain both forwards.

For UCLA sophomore forward Abu Danladi, who was voted the Gatorade National Player of the Year in his senior year of high school, was voted Freshman of the Year by Top Soccer last season, and looks poised to be a top draft pick if/when he enters the MLS Draft, absolutely terrorized the Georgetown defense throughout the match, especially in the second half. The Ghana-born striker was also strong in hold-up play, but also possesses the speed and strength that would have any defender in the country shaking in his boots once he’s coming at him. At 5’10”, 170 pounds, his physical presence and athletic attributes, combined with his excellent work rate, make him look like a combination of Obafemi Martins and Loic Remy. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but needless to say, I was impressed with the young man and expect big things from him once he takes the leap to the next level.

Anyway, on to the action, which started off with Alex Muyl for Georgetown finding himself behind the UCLA back line and going to goal, only to be fouled and taken down from behind by UCLA’s Michael Amick who was extremely lucky to escape with only a yellow card. Amick appeared to be the last man, and the referee’s decision to not asses a straight red wasn’t exactly met with open arms by the home student section. The free kick was taken by Georgetown’s Brendan McDonough, which was kicked directly into the wall.

I decided in the 20th minute to take my chances with the concession stand and go hunting for a bottle of water. After 20 minutes in line, only to find out that they ran out of water, I missed the first Georgetown goal which was scored by junior Brett Campbell. From what I gathered from my friend sitting next to me, it was a ball which bounced around the UCLA box, and put in by Campbell aka Johnny on the Spot. Either way, a goal is a goal, it just would have been nice to see it. Word on the street is that Georgetown is a pretty decent school, you would think they would have more than one person taking money at the concession stand, and that they’d have more water available during a holiday game against the #1 team in the country which felt like it was being played in Dubai somewhere, but what do I know.

I returned to my seat with 5 minutes left in the first half (yes, seriously) which ended without much to write about. Okay, I’m ready for an action-packed second half, let’s do this.

UCLA vs Georgetown

At some point in between my concession stand journey and the start of the second half, UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo decided to switch to a 2-striker formation, which appeared to be a 4-4-2 from the naked eye. This is where Abu Danladi was at his most dangerous, and he absolutely gave the Georgetown defense nightmares in the second half.

While the weather may have cooled off a bit in the second half, the play on the field was more heated than before.

Georgetown was able to get a quick goal in the 46th minute when they were awarded a free kick in the middle of the field from 30+ yards out. With the free kick being in the middle of the field, and a right-footed Brandon Allen taking the kick, it didn’t appear to be a dangerous situation. However, the UCLA defense was unable to deal with a ball played directly in the middle of their box, and Georgetown sophomore Arun Basuljevic, who was voted Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season, got on the end of Allen’s free kick and played a looping header over 5’11” UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes who watched the ball sail into his net.

2-0 Georgetown.

UCLA came out firing after the second goal, desperate to keep working for a result. In the 48th minute, UCLA’s Jackson Yueill, who is a member of the USMNT U-18 team and who was dangerous throughout the match, found himself with an opportunity in Georgetown’s box, only for his shot to find the outside of the net for a goal kick. A few minutes later, Danladi had an open shot at the top of the Georgetown box, only for his shot to find the hands of Georgetown freshman goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, who is also a member of the U-18 National Team pool. Needless to say, there was talent on display at all positions on the field, in a heated #1 vs #14 matchup.

Abu Danladi continued to assert himself on the match in the 52nd minute when he was involved in some hold-up play in the box, laying it off to a teammate whose shot resulted in a UCLA corner. A few minutes later, Danladi had another opportunity of his own, a wide open header in the Georgetown box which was another easy save for Georgetown keeper JT Marcinkowski. UCLA was starting to threaten, against a Georgetown back line which looked a bit shaky.

It is worth noting, actually, that both back lines looked shaky in possession throughout the match. There were a number of unforced turnovers, bad passes, and both goalkeepers were guilty of kicking the ball out of bounds in back to back possessions despite not being put under pressure.

Anyway, back to the action, and guess who? In the words of Marc Jackson, “momma there goes that man again”, Abu Danladi finds the ball in the 56th minute and runs directly at the Georgetown back line, only for the ball to be cleared away. It’s only 11 minutes into the second half, and I already need another water break. Oh wait, I didn’t get the first water break. Well hopefully these guys are staying hydrated when they have the chance, because the pace of play is electric, thanks mainly to the Georgetown students and fans who lined the field and provided an excellent atmosphere.

Georgetown soccer fans vs UCLA

Georgetown students adding to an electric atmosphere at Shaw Field

Danladi was given another opportunity on goal, this time being set up by strike partner and fellow Ghanaian Abdullah Adam, but Georgetown keeper JT Marcinkowski was once again cool under pressure.

UCLA’s freshman sensation Jackson Yueill was once again able to assert himself on the match in the 68th minute when the ball was crossed to the left side of the Georgetown box. Yueill’s teammate found him on the top of the 18, and Yueill was able to take a touch and set himself up for a right-footed shot which deflected off of a Georgetown defender and smashed off of the crossbar, with Georgetown keeper JT Marcinkowski this time appearing to be beaten. The ball stayed in play, and Marcinkowski was forced to make a save directly in front of the left side of his goal, which resulted in a UCLA corner kick. Needless to say, UCLA was pounding on the door.

Following the corner kick, Georgetrown strikers Alex Muyl and Brandon Allen were given a much-needed break, with both of them working hard to keep the ball and work extremely hard in the severe heat.

From a tactical standpoint, both teams were able to get wide play out of their outside backs in the 4-4-2 formation. UCLA’s Chase Gasper, who is from Alexandria and attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, was able to make a darting run up the left side of the field in the 70th minute. The hometown sophomore’s run up the field resulted in UCLA winning a free kick from around 25 yards out. The free kick was taken by Jackson Yueill, which was initially cleared by Georgetown, but the ball eventually found its way to Abu Danladi, deflects and bounces in the Georgetown box, and is finished by Jackson Yueill to make it 2-1. UCLA grabs the ball out of the net, and game on.

Two minutes later, Abu Danladi is played in behind the Georgetown back line off of a punt from UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes, but instead of going to goal himself, he opts for the unselfish option and lays it off for a teammate, who was ruled to be in an offside position.

Another two minutes go by, and somehow Abu Danladi is able to create yet another scoring chance, this one being probably the most important of the match. Danladi finds the ball outside of the box, runs into the heart of the Georgetown defense, and appears to be taken down for a UCLA penalty kick. No call, however, and the traveling UCLA fans go ballistic. Following the ensuing corner kick, play is stopped and UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo is spoken to by the referee, with the head coach visibly upset at the referee’s decision. In all fairness, he did appear to have an argument, with this being a crucial point in the match which could have resulted in the game being tied.

With 15 minutes left, former Loyola player Larry Ndjock, now playing for UCLA in his senior season, has a ball sit up for him which he crushes on the volley, only for JT Marcinkowski to push it over the bar in an amazing reaction save.

With Georgetown strikers Brandon Allen and Alex Muyl being reintroduced to the match, things started to turn in favor of the Hoyas. UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes was starting to be put under pressure, and not just by the Georgetown players. The fans behind his goal were harassing him throughout the second half, including a pretty clever Finding Nemo Seagulls chant of “Juan Juan Juan Juan”.

UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes hears it from the home Georgetown fans

UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes hears it from the home Georgetown fans

The rest of the game involves an impressive (and probably unnecessary) flip throw from UCLA’s Seyi Adekoya which ended up going out of bounds. This ends up being the last notable threat on the Georgetown goal, with the Hoyas’ back line and goalkeeper being put under pressure throughout the second half. UCLA actually appeared to have three forwards with 8 minutes remaining in the match, and possibly as a result, Georgetown ends up getting their third goal (and the proverbial “nail in the coffin”), with junior Brett Campbell getting his second goal of the match. Both Georgetown forwards who were reintroduced, and whose hard work and skillful play had such a positive impact on the match, were involved in the goal. Alex Muyl and Brandon Allen were both credited with assists on the goal.

Okay, now I really need a water break, time to find a 7-11. And to top it off, as the game is winding down, Georgetown fans serenade the UCLA players, coaches and fans with a chant that they’re sure to remember on their long trip back to the West Coast.

“OOOOVVVVEERRRRRRAAAAAATED!”