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Men’s soccer loses tough match versus No. 8 Georgetown, 3–0

A player in a white kit dribbling a soccer ball on a field through four defenders in blue kits.
First-year midfielder Bardia Hormozi carries the ball through the Hoya defense. 
Photo courtesy of @PrincetonMSoc/Twitter. 

After a win versus Monmouth and a draw against rival Yale, men's soccer (3–4–1 overall, 0–1–1 Ivy League)  faced one of their toughest matches of the season so far against No. 8 Georgetown (7–1–1, 3–0–0 Big East) on Tuesday. The team attempted to replicate what Princeton women’s soccer did versus Georgetown a few weeks ago, but this proved easier said than done. The Hoyas have been dominant this season, with their only loss coming against No. 6 Stanford. In spite of a strong first half from Princeton, Georgetown took the game handily. 

The Tigers’ attack looked promising early, with a strong right-footed shot from senior defender Whit Gamblin bouncing off the crossbar in the second minute of play. After this first chance, the Hoyas took control of possession. When senior forward Walker Gillespie was injured defending a corner in the ninth minute, the Tigers’ chances at an upset dwindled. 

Georgetown took three corners and two shots in the first 12 minutes of play, with the second being saved easily by junior keeper Khamari Hadaway. Georgetown finally broke through when midfielder Zach Zengue blasted a goal into the top left corner in the thirteenth minute. 

The Tigers attempted to respond quickly, shooting three shots in one minute, but their aggression left them overexposed. Georgetown stole the ball and forward Jacob Murrell tapped in a cross from fellow forward Marlon Tabora for a 2–0 lead. The remainder of the period was scoreless, with Hadaway making a brilliant diving stop to keep Princeton’s deficit at two headed into halftime. 

Hadaway continued his excellent night with two more saves to start out the second half. Over the next twenty minutes, possession swung back and forth, with neither team really threatening. In the 70th minute, Georgetown midfielder Joe Buck took a shot from outside the 18-yard box that deflected off of Whit Gamblin’s face and into the goal, putting a fitting end to a tough night for the Tigers. 

One bright spot was the career debut of first-year defender Sebastian Swary, who played 36 minutes, all in the second half. 

“I dislocated my shoulder during the second practice of the year so I missed a lot of preseason,” Swary wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “The upperclassmen and coaches were super supportive and helpful so I didn’t feel nervous at all when I got in the game. It was a great feeling when I got to go in and definitely a moment I’ll remember.” 

In the game, Princeton had plenty of chances, with 11 shots to Georgetown’s 13, but couldn’t capitalize on any of them.

“We were definitely able to see areas in our game that we need to improve going forward,” Swary said. The Tigers will try to climb back to .500 against Columbia (2–5–2, 0–2–0 Ivy) on Saturday at 4 p.m., at Myslik Field. The next few weeks will define the season for Princeton, and they are ready. 

“You can expect us to give 100 percent effort every time we play. We have a great team and it feels like we are improving each week,” Swary said.

Ryan Kirby is a contributor to the Sports section for the ‘Prince.’

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