Dec. 1, 2012
TULSA, Okla. -- The University of San Diego men's soccer team gave it a strong effort but came up short in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament with a 3-1 loss at Georgetown on Saturday afternoon. In front of a sellout crowd of nearly 2,000 at North Kehoe Field, the Toreros and Hoyas battled each other closely before Georgetown pulled away with a strong second half that downed USD, ending the Toreros' longest NCAA run since 1992 and earning the Hoyas a place at the Men's College Cup in Hoover, Ala.
The first half was very balanced with neither team taking over the momentum. Both squads had a couple good opportunities that were thwarted. Dan Delgado had a good look with a free kick from about 30 yards out on the right wing, but once it got into the box, Georgetown keeper Tomas Gomez was able to corral it to prevent the score.
The No. 3-seeded Hoyas (19-3-2) put on a bit of pressure within the 10-minute mark of the first half. With around 8:30 to go, GU fired off a free kick from 30 yards out that bended in to the box and was mishandled by USD keeper Drew Ilijevski. The ball slipped through Ilijevski's hands and bounced behind him. The GU offense seemed not to see the loose ball and Ilijevski was able to scramble back and pounce on it before the Hoyas could capitalize on the mistake.
About a minute later, Georgetown sent a cross from the right wing that found Tom Skelly streaking up the middle. Skelly appeared to beat his man and had a good look with only Ilijevski in front of him, but Skelly's attempt to flick the ball with his left foot rolled just wide right past a diving Ilijevski without any damage done.
Coming out in the second half, action picked up on both sides of the ball as the Toreros (14-9-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute with Julian Ringhof's second goal of the season. Delgado delivered a corner kick into the box where every Torero was in on the attack. Ringhof happened to leap the highest as he headed the ball into the left corner of the net in traffic.
From that point, GU took control offensively for much of the second half, starting with the equalizer about a minute after USD took the lead. Georgetown's Steve Neumann served a ball on a free kick from around 35 yards out that wound up in the right corner of the net to tie the game at 1-1. The goal actually came off the head of a Torero defender in traffic for an own goal.
Georgetown was able to maintain possession on the USD side of the field for the majority of the remainder of the period while keeping the USD attack at bay.
James Cohn managed to sneak behind the Hoya defense in the 61st minute with a good look at a go-ahead score, but his low shot to the left post rolled just wide past a diving Gomez.
A few minutes later, Connor Brandt, who started for the first time since Sept. 28 at Santa Clara, nearly put the Toreros up himself when his attempt from around 10 yards out was barely tipped away by Gomez' outstretched glove.
Georgetown then took the lead in the 72nd minute with a surprise goal from Melvin Snoh, his first of his career, when he gathered a free kick from the right wing by Neumann and delivered a sliding shot to the near post that put the Hoyas up 2-1.
The Toreros tried to step on the gas over the final 10 minutes, but the Hoya defense remained stout by not allowing USD to get position inside the box. Delgado, Ringhof and Conor McFadden made good attempts in the waning minutes but were unable to find a clear window.
Finally, GU added an insurance goal in the 87th minute when Andy Riemer stayed with a ball that bounced around diving bodies in the box, was deflected and was rebounded off the post into the back of the net to give the Hoyas their ultimate 3-1 advantage.
Despite taking the loss, Ilijevski (12-4-0) provide three great saves on the day, while Gomez earned the win while recording a pair of saves on the day. Georgetown outshot USD 12-8 in the contest, while each team had five corner kicks apiece.
With the loss, the Toreros see their season end, but not before a historic postseason run that was their second-best in team history. The only other team to finish better than this year's squad was Seamus McFadden's 1992 team that finished as the national runners-up.