ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA
ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA

A dominant second half and two penalty kick goals from the Hoyas’ star player led to a 6-0 rout of DePaul (4-9-2, 0-5-1) on Wednesday at Shaw field. No. 9 Georgetown (11-3-1, 4-1-1 Big East) heated up in the second half despite plummeting temperatures, scoring four times. The game improves the team’s record to 4-1-1 in a tight Big East with three games left to play.

The Hoyas implemented their style of play from the opening whistle, maintaining possession and making DePaul defend in its own half. Just five minutes into the game, junior midfielder Tyler Rudy found open space outside of the 18-yard box and chipped the ball to the top right corner of the goal, surprising both the goalkeeper, who appeared to think it was going wide, and the defense. Georgetown continued to control the tempo throughout the half, but could not score another goal until the 40th minute. A series of passes on the left flank led to a cross into the 18-yard box, where Rudy was fouled as he ran onto the ball. Senior forward and captain Steve Neumann easily converted the resulting penalty kick, shooting left as the goalie dived right. While the second half may have had more goals, the first was equally as important.

“They were sitting in pretty well in the first half and absorbing some pressure,” Neumann said. “I think any time a team is defending that much, holes start opening up later in the game.”

The second half rewarded Georgetown’s control of the game with dangerous scoring opportunities. Neumann converted another penalty kick in the 57th minute after a handball on a shot off the head of senior defender Todd Helfrich, who started a second straight game. About five minutes later, sophomore forward Brandon Allen was tripped by the DePaul keeper in a one-on-one situation, but he recovered and put the ball away to give Georgetown a 4-0 lead. Two more goals followed, one by sophomore defender Cole Seiler, his first of the season, and the other by freshman forward Brett Campbell, his second on the year. Allen had trouble finding touches in the first half, but the second saw the forward and one of the team’s leading goal scorers look much more dangerous.

ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA
ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA

“His movement was very good in the second half, and his hold up play was good too. It was good for him to get another goal,” Neumann said.

The Hoya offense was on full display Wednesday, recording 17 shots and 12 shots on goal, compared to one shot on goal by DePaul. That shot was easily saved by junior goalkeeper Tomas Gomez, giving the team its school record-tying 10th shutout of the season. The second half score let Head Coach Brian Wiese give 20 different players game experience, and the final two goals came after the team had made a majority of its substitutions. Wiese believed the lack of a drop in the level of play after many starters had been removed was a testament to the depth Georgetown has on the bench.

“We put our reserves into a DePaul formation two days ago. At the end of that practice — we weren’t telling our guys this — but as coaches, [we thought] that may be harder for our starters than the game will be on Wednesday.”

Georgetown will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to face No. 16 Marquette on Saturday. The Golden Eagles are 9-3-2 this season and have an unblemished 5-0-1 record in the Big East. Important wins for the team have come against Butler and No. 22 Creighton, while loses were to No. 17 Michigan State, Wisconsin and Milwaukee.

The game is shaping up to be a low-scoring affair featuring two strong defenses. Marquette has allowed 11 goals this season and recorded eight shutouts, while Georgetown has conceded just eight and preserved 10 clean sheets. In a recent game against Providence, Marquette played with five defenders in the starting lineup, demonstrating its commitment to guarding the goal. Similarly, the Hoya defense has been a strength for the team all season.

“They are organized, they are well coached — they play a great tempo [and] they got a brand new facility. There are a lot of great things going on with Marquette,” Wiese said.

Sophomore forward James Nortey has been the biggest goal scoring threat for the Golden Eagles with seven goals on the season. The Hoyas have two players, Neumann and Allen, who have reached double digits in goals on the year.

Marquette and Georgetown currently sit in first and second in the Big East, so the game has huge implications for the seasons of both teams.

“It is a big game for them, and it is a big game for us,” Wiese said, ”It could go a long way in determining who ends up winning the regular season title.”

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