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Hoyas finish perfect Big East campaign

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: November 5, 2015

WASHINGTON — Experience is the backbone of every successful college soccer team.

In Thursday's 2-1 win against No. 2 Creighton, Georgetown's talented seniors Keegan Rosenberry and Cole Seiler connected to produce a match-winning moment.

Seiler headed home Rosenberry's curling free kick in the 83rd minute, securing the victory and clinching a perfect conference campaign for the Hoyas.

"Senior day, having another assist from a senior and captain, when I was able to turn around and celebrate with my teammates, it meant the world to me," Seiler said after the game. "It’s every college soccer player’s dream."

After honoring its seniors -- who were freshmen during Georgetown's run to the national championship in 2012 -- the Hoyas took the game to the Bluejays over the game's opening ten minutes. Junior forward Brett Campbell had his goal-bound shot blocked off the line by Bluejay defender Vincent Keller in the fourth minute after a wonderful Josh Turnley cross.

Failure to score in the early minutes nearly proved costly. Sophomore forward Ricky Lopez-Espin dragged his shot just wide of the post with goalkeeper James Marcinkowski leaning the other way.

Campbell would come through with the game's first goal in the 17th minute, capping Georgetown's ascension. Rosenberry drove in a low, curving ball towards senior forward Brandon Allen at the top of the box, who laid it off to a streaking Campbell to blast past Bluejay goalkeeper Connor Sparrow.

Creighton’s best look to tie the score in the first half came off the foot of senior midfielder Fernando Castellanos. A corner kick fell to him at the top of the box, but his volley went straight into the hands of Marcinkowski.

The Bluejays came out firing in the second half. Ricardo Perez’s rasping shot just missed beating Marcinkowski, and the Hoya goalkeeper had to be alert on a Lopez-Espin opportunity from close range.

"It was one of those things where you’re like ‘you need two goals,’" Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese said. "I told them at halftime, don’t play safe, and I thought they did. I thought we came out and Creighton was the team that was maybe going to get the second goal. I thought we stopped playing how we wanted to play."

Georgetown eventually settled into the run of play and momentum began to swing back into their favor. Back-to-back chances in the 60th minute were thwarted by Sparrow, who saved an Alex Muyl shot from the left side of the box, and then from the ensuing corner, turned a Rosenberry volley over the bar.

Fabian Herbers, the nation's leadering scorer, demonstrated his penalty box prowess on his 70th minute equalizer. Hoya defender Joshua Yaro poked a loose ball straight to Vincent Keller. The German found his compatriot sneaking in behind the Hoya back line, and Herbers curled a fierce shot around Marcinkowski to make it 1-1.

"Herbers, the kid can’t stop scoring, I don’t know how you handle somebody like that," Wiese said.

The tight encounter eventually cued up the heroics from the Hoya seniors. Fellow fourth-year midfielder David Witkoff earned the free kick, and Seiler took advantage, glancing home what became the winning goal, continuing a series of impressive streaks for Georgetown. Unbeaten in their last 13, winners of 11 straight, and a perfect 9-0 record in Big East regular season play, momentum is on their side heading into postseason play.

"With this kind of conference and the kind of teams were playing it’s quite the honor," Rosenberry said. "For us to have a winning record sometimes is an accomplishment, let alone being undefeated."

The Big East conference tournament awaits next week. As the top seed, Georgetown hosts the semifinal next Thursday. Once again, Wiese will expect a lot from his veterans.

"They’ve gone through a lot, they’ve got as much experience as anybody in the country as a class, and you want to see that," he said. "You ask them for that in games like this where you need to find a result. They’ve been there before, it’s not going to overwhelm them. It’s great to see all the years of experience coming to a head and seeing them successful, they’re a special group."

Related Topics: Big East
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