After a successful series in Michigan last weekend, the Georgetown men’s soccer team (3-1-1) has spent its week preparing for a pair of Ivy League contests against Penn and Princeton. Last Friday, the Hoyas snagged yet another double-overtime victory — this time against Michigan State — before tying Michigan, 2-2, on Sunday.
The upcoming weekend will prove just as challenging for the Hoyas. Last season their two opponents finished at the top of the Ivy League, with Penn coming in second to Princeton.
Georgetown will begin by traveling to Philadelphia to take on Penn, which is looking to rebound from a pair of losses in California. The Quakers are 2-2 on the season after losing their last two games to San Diego and San Diego State without scoring a single goal. The team had seven goals in its first two games, however, claiming victories over local rivals La Salle and St. Joseph’s.
“I think we have two very hard games ahead of us. Penn has a very talented team,” Head Coach Brian Weise said. “They came into Georgetown and beat us last year. And they have a lot of key components back from the team that beat us, and they have an excellent recruiting class to add to that.”
Penn freshman midfielder Duke Lacroix has two goals and two assists to lead the Quakers in scoring. The rookie scored both his goals in Penn’s win over Saint Joseph’s, earning him Ivy League Rookie of the Week in early September. Freshman goalkeeper Max Kurtzman has played all 360 minutes in net and has made 12 saves so far this season.
Last season, Penn finished 13-6 overall with a 5-2 conference record, earning themselves 2nd place in the Ivy League. The Quakers downed Georgetown, 3-1, on North Kehoe Field last year with a pair of goals in the second half.
“I feel like Penn is one of the top teams in the Ivy League and winning at their place is going to be a challenge,” Weise said. “We’re going to have to play very well to do that — but then again that’s always the goal.”
On Sunday, Georgetown will take on defending Ivy League champion Princeton (0-2-1) at home. The Tigers went scoreless in their season opener, tying the College of Charleston, 0-0, before losing to both Furman and Farleigh Dickinson by one goal.
Princeton is led by freshman forward Cameron Porter, who has two points on the season after scoring the Tiger’s lone goal against Farleigh Dickinson. Junior goalkeeper Max Gallin has played in all three games with eight saves to his credit.
Last season Princeton went 13-4, earning a perfect record in seven Ivy League games. The Tigers defeated Yale, 2-1, to earn the Ivy League title before losing to UMBC in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
“Princeton is the defending Ivy League champion and they also have a lot of the key components from last year returning. I think we’ve got two teams ahead of us that I would expect to be in the top half of the Ivy League at the end of the season,” Weise said.
“We put them on the schedule because it’s going to be something that will help us,” he continued. “From a maturing point of view it will test us. Hopefully we can come out on the right side of both results.”
Georgetown is 2-0-1 overall against the Tigers, with last season’s meeting ending in a 1-1 tie. The Hoyas outshot the Tigers 21-14, but couldn’t find the winning goal after 110 minutes of play.
However, the Blue and Gray is prepared to avenge both their loss to the Quakers and the tie against the Tigers.
“The guys are confident. They’re not afraid of anybody,” Weise said. “They know what they have to do and that they’re going to have to be good in order to get results against both of these teams.”