Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

MEN’S SOCCER | Hoyas Await Reeling Blue Demons

The No. 17 Georgetown men’s soccer team (5-1-3, 1-0) will return home for the first time in over two weeks to play host to DePaul (3-5-1, 1-0) this Saturday in their second Big East contest of the year.

After opening the season with a loss to Virginia Commonwealth, the Blue and Gray have yet to drop a game and Head Coach Brian Wiese is pleased with the play of his team.

“In season, it’s always a work in progress, but we have certainly gotten a lot better from game one to this stage,” Wiese said. “We’ve been able to handle things teams have done differently against us.”

The Hoyas tied No. 19 Penn State, 0-0, on Tuesday in a hard-fought double overtime contest. Georgetown has been no stranger to close games, with three ties and six overtime contests thus far.

The tie against the Nittany Lions finished up a stretch in which five of the Hoyas’ last six games were played on the road. The team has yet to lose this year when away from home, however, and this success has given the Blue and Gray momentum going into the rest of the league schedule.

“I think the team is in a good place. The guys are settling into roles and certainly have a good understanding of what we’re doing now,” Wiese said. “[Our road success] has generated some confidence for the team.”

Despite their inferior record, the Blue Demons carry some momentum of their own into the match. They opened league play with a 2-1 win over Seton Hall last Saturday, and most recently blasted city rival Northwestern, 4-0.

“The Big East games are tough no matter who you play. You need to be absolutely ready to go from minute one and eliminate any lapses in concentration,” Wiese said. “Our guys feel like if we do that, we’re going to be able to win any of the games we line up to play.”

The Blue and Gray have been solid on the defensive end, giving up only five goals on the year. The defense was boosted against Penn State by the return of junior defender and team captain Tommy Muller from injury, although Wiese noted that sophomore Nick Van Hollen stepped in very capably for Muller.

The Hoyas have also received great play in net on the year, evidenced by the fact that freshman goalie Tomas Gomez was recently named to the Big East Honor Roll. Gomez has posted one of the best goals against averages in the country at 0.45 per game.

“These guys [Gomez and sophomore goalkeeper Keon Parsa] have been as good as anyone in the country,” Wiese said. “Tomas has come in as a freshman and has exceeded expectations of what any freshman should do.”

Offensively, Georgetown averages 1.44 goals per game compared to a meager .56 per game for their opponents, which can mostly be attributed to winning the possession battle.

Sophomore midfielder Steve Neumann and junior midfielder Ian Chistianson lead the team in scoring with five and three goals, respectively, and sophomore midfielder Joey Dillon has helped stabilize the midfield as well.

“Ian and Joey, when they are playing well, are as good as anyone in the country, and Steve Neumann may be the best goal scorer I’ve ever coached,” Wiese said.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at North Kehoe Field on Saturday. Wiese is optimistic about the team’s chances in the game and in the rest of Big East play.

“We have to take every game as they come, and not look past anybody,” Wiese said. “If we can do that, we’re going be a team that’s competing for the Big East and a team that’s competing for the NCAA tournament.”

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