Back on their home field, the Hoyas dictated the game Saturday against Butler. No. 11 Georgetown (10-3-1, 3-1-1 Big East) scored four times and held No. 18 Butler (9-4-1, 3-2 Big East) to just one goal en route to a 4-1 win. After a long week of practice following last weekend’s loss to Xavier, the game showcased the team’s ability to maintain possession and find the back of the net.
“Really good teams don’t like the feeling of a loss, and we were able to sit and marinate in it for about a week,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said of his team’s desire to rebound from its loss.
The starting lineup for the Hoyas included one familiar face who was a game-time decision due to injury, and one new addition. Senior forward Steve Neumann suffered a concussion in the loss against Xavier and was limited in practice for much of the week, but he made the start Saturday, netting a goal to prove he belonged on the field. Senior defender Ted Helfrich made the starting lineup for the first time this year as he replaced the injured freshman defender Joshua Yaro.
Georgetown started the game quickly, with sophomore forward Brandon Allen forcing the Butler keeper to make a leaping save in the fourth minute, and freshman midfielder Bakie Goodman hitting the post in the ninth. The first goal came when sophomore defender Josh Turnley chipped the ball to Neumann, who ran to the touch line and crossed it from the near side to the head of Allen, who put it away. A corner kick from the far side and a mistimed attempt to punch the ball away by the Butler keeper put the ball — and a number of players from both teams — right on the goal line. Freshman forward Alex Muyl got there first and fired a shot from the line into the back of the net to go up 2-0.
“It was pretty messy, but I just wanted to make sure I got the goal in,” Muyl said. “I just put my body in, and luckily, it bounced to me.”
Muyl also was involved in the third goal of the game, which came in the 50th minute. He stole the ball from a Butler defender just outside of the Bulldogs’ 18 yard box and passed to Neumann in the middle, who then settled the ball on the penalty spot and buried the shot in the top right of the goal. Neumann scored the Hoyas’ fourth goal after a handball by Butler gave the Hoyas a free kick. He was then subbed out, and Muyl stepped up to help fill in the offense, potentially foreshadowing the freshman’s place on the field after Neumann graduates at the end of the year.
“I think I have been trying to find my role on the team. That’s been hard for me. I think it’s starting to come together a little bit more,” Muyl said.
As has been the storyline for much of the season, Georgetown dominated possession from start to finish. In the first half, the Hoyas controlled the tempo, patiently stringing together passes to develop plays. The beginning of the second half also saw the Hoyas maintaining the ball for long stretches of time, and the forwards and midfielders pressing Butler high on the field to win back turnovers. According to Wiese, the strong start to halves played an important role in the game.
“The first 15 or 20 minutes of each half the game settled into our favor,” Wiese said. “When you are doing things right that is what you want it to do.”
The DePaul Blue Demons (4-8-2, 0-4-1 Big East) will visit Georgetown on Wednesday hoping for their first Big East win. DePaul has had a tough season so far, with its victories coming from a relatively weak non-conference schedule. The team will arrive in D.C. riding a four game losing streak to teams including Seton Hall, Providence and Butler, three teams that the Hoyas have beaten by a combined 12 goals.
The lineup for Georgetown should look the same as the one that started Saturday, and the team will hope for similar results as well. Allen and Neumann will be good bets to continue scoring at a torrid pace against a porous DePaul defense. For the opposing side, junior midfielder Michael Stankiewiczcould be a player to watch. Regardless of record, the game will get as much focus by players and coaches as any other.
“The staff is not allowed to sleep until they get everything sorted out,” Wiese said.