Overtime thriller gives men’s soccer team first conference loss

IMG_0466The Marquette men’s soccer team suffered a tough 1-0 overtime loss to the Georgetown Hoyas at Valley Fields Saturday night.

Senior Georgetown defender Ted Helfrich scored the game winner – his first goal of the season – in extra time to give Georgetown the win. The decisive score was set up by senior forward Steve Neumann’s corner kick, which Helfrich headed home from about six yards out.

This loss is the Golden Eagles’ first in Big East conference play and it also snapped their five-game winning streak. They are now in a first-place tie with Georgetown, who has beaten Marquette in each of their last five match ups, including a 2-1 double-overtime victory in last year’s Big East Tournament semifinals.

“Congratulations to Georgetown, they came with a good game plan and executed it,” coach Louis Bennett said. “I still thought we really put our stamps on the game. It’s disappointing but we’ve put ourselves in a position to at least have a share of the title.”

Although Marquette tallied 17 shots compared to Georgetown’s 13, the Hoyas put six of their shots on goal, while the Golden Eagles could only muster five. Senior defender Eric Pothast said it was a tale of two halves in terms of each team’s scoring chances.

“We didn’t play our best soccer in the first half,” Pothast said. “We wanted to step it up defensively in the second half. Wanted to have more energy and go after it a little more and as you could see we kind of took over the game more in the second half.”

The Golden Eagles had plenty of clean looks in the final 45 minutes, but they just could not find the back of the net. Freshman forward Coco Navarro initiated Marquette’s attack when he sent a shot over the crossbar in the 74th minute, but the team kept its foot on the gas. Unfortunately, Lysak had his third shot of the day saved and redshirt sophomore forward C. Nortey suffered two near misses in the next 10 minutes.

Marquette has not scored a goal since Louis Bennett II’s game-winning score in the 73rd minute against Providence 10 days ago. Following that game, the Golden Eagles drew 0-0 against Saint John’s before their most recent matchup with the Hoyas. However, Bennett said he is not panicking after his team’s most recent setback.

“This loss isn’t the last game we’re going to play, so we can learn from it,” Bennett said. “I think the university has a good group of guys, very talented group and a brand of soccer that you can stick behind. Playing this way, we’re going to win more than we lose.”

Marquette will host Seton Hall Saturday, Nov. 2 at Valley Fields. Senior Bryan Ciesiulka said he is excited for the senior night game.

“I’m looking forward to getting us back on the winning track,” Ciesiulka said.