With one week of games in the books, Georgetown’s men’s soccer team (2-0) has already jumped into the national polls at No. 21. This afternoon, they will have to validate that ranking when they take on Cal State Northridge.
“It’s great to start the season 2-0,” freshman striker Brandon Allen, who scored the game-winner against Florida Gulf Coast, said after the game. “It’s really exciting.”
Head Coach Brian Wiese, however, made clear that the Hoyas are keeping level heads about them. Being undefeated at 2-0 is light-years away from the squad’s end goal.
“It’s always a good feeling to start well, [but] I think the expectation of this group was that we would be 2-0,” Wiese said. “I think this is a confident group [that] expects to win games.”
Since the team boasts five seniors and six juniors, that mentality doesn’t come as a surprise.
“We’ve got a long way to go with it, but I also think that we’re hoping to be a lot better come November. It’s a growing process, but we’re happy to be 2-0 while we’re still growing.”
The Hoyas’ nonconference schedule features teams from all over the country that are sure to employ their own unique regional styles, something that should provide plenty of opportunities to foster the growth the team seeks.
A Southeast team in Florida Gulf Coast is already behind them, and contests against Big Ten foes Penn State and Wisconsin are rapidly approaching.
First on the docket, though, is West Coast team CS Northridge, which likewise is 2-0 after beating Portland and American to take the Wilson Titan Classic.
The scoreline that stands out in those two wins is CSUN’s 4-0 drubbing of Portland last Friday, a game that featured a brace from sophomore forward Sagi Lev-Ari.
Classmate and forward Edwin Rivas, meanwhile, provided a goal and an assist against the Pilots and added a second goal against the Eagles en route to being honored as Big West offensive player of the week.
“One of our points of emphasis is seeing how we can slow them down a little bit on Friday,” Wiese said. “They’ve been on the upswing [in the last two years]. I think this year, they’re a team that’s going to be back to where their standards are, and it’s a very good game for us.”
At the same time, one drawback to the geographic diversity of Georgetown’s schedule is the difficulty of obtaining quality scouting reports on teams like Cal State Northridge that are so far across the country.
However, Wiese noted that in the world of college soccer, truly getting to know one’s opponent in depth before the whistle can be tough.
“The challenge is figuring out what these teams are all about, and we try our best, but at the end of the day, we feel it’s going to be about us and how we perform,” Wiese said. “And if we do what we want to do, we always think we’re going to be competitive in every game we play.”
After the CS Northridge matchup, Georgetown takes on Penn State in a high-profile Sunday showdown. The Nittany Lions are also 2-0, with wins over Stetson and Hartford to their credit.
“We know they’re going to be good, and we’ll do our due diligence through this weekend to be prepped for them,” Wiese said.
The opening kickoff on Friday is scheduled for 4 p.m. at North Kehoe Field, with a tailgate on the field preceding the game. The matchup with the Nittany Lions, taking place just two days later, is set to start at 1 p.m., also at home.