Scarcely a minute remained in a mutually flustering showdown when the visiting Georgetown Hoyas, down 1-0 on the strength of Michael Pereira’s goal in the 82nd minute, were awarded just their second corner kick of the game.
That stab was awarded when another attempt was foiled by none other than their noted Friar nemesis, starting forward Timothy Ritter, slid through the goal box bog with his left leg up to tilt it out of harm’s way.
In turn, the Hoyas scraped out their fifth registered shot attempt of the day at the perfect point to deflate the edgy Glay Field mass and force overtime concomitant with reversed momentum. But within precious seconds, the play was turned over and Ritter was hustling the ball into Georgetown territory virtually unchallenged. He would be stripped before he could discharge a shot, but had incinerated enough of the clock and stamp PC’s 1-0 victory in the first of 11 Big East games for both parties.
The Friars’ dramatic, triumphant nipping process of a statistically textbook defense involved holding back any shot attempts whatsoever for the first 17 minutes of action, running away with the lead in that category (14-5 at day’s end) to no immediate benefit, and finally breaking the board at 81:40 of regulation time.
Georgetown, which had run up its first five adversaries by an aggregate 13-0, chipped the game’s first SOG in the 15th minute via Seth C’deBaca’s spiraling floater from the mid-to-left alley. After wide-leaning header from Jose Colchao three minutes later, though, the Hoyas let up to authorize eight unanswered kicks from the Friars.
The tempest commenced not long after reserve middie Alex Redding stepped in at the 17:11 mark, filling in Nick Cianci’s left side post. Between the 23rd and 45th minute, Redding accounted for four out of six PC shots and was the not-so-delectable centerpiece in a succession of offside calls, untamed kicks at Hoya goalkeeper Mark Wilber, and foiled swarms in the Georgetown goal box.
Only Ryan Maduro served up anything that Wilber could turn into a credited save before the half. At 29:10, the fiery second-term senior leveled a straightaway cannon from the brim of the goal box, only to see it lick Wilber’s fingertips and float safely over the crossbar.
Ritter –who tied Redding with four tangible attempts on the day- tipped Providence ahead in the SOG gallery at 62:48, at which point the Friars led 9-3 in terms of shots altogether. Still not fractured, Georgetown pulled even with precisely twenty minutes to spare when Peter Grasso forwarded the ball to an unguarded Colchao along the right post. Colchao crouched to discharge a low header, but keeper Tim Murray (two saves, second shutout of the season) was raring to swat and smother it, effectively ending the Hoyas’ sparsely distributed threats until their last ditch.
PC only garnered one more SOG themselves when exactly 8:20 remained, and moments after a quartet of defending Hoyas had nimbly deflected Maduro’s free kick out of bounds. Immediately awarded another whirl, the Friars’ forked at it twenty yards out from the cage before Pereira’s fairly sloppy boot pinballed off the congesting Georgetown backliners and skipped home to the right of Wilber.
That deciding kick was 14 tries in the making, but the home sect of the Glay grandstands –whose excitement had been stifled by endless brushes between the ball and the backstop mesh, not the cage mesh- tellingly erupted over it. And they doubled the celebratory decibels after Murray’s guards, who earned a startling rant from their stopper during a Georgetown threat around the 60th minute, snuffed the visitors’ last equalizing endeavor.
This article originally appeared in the Friartown Free Press