The Hoyas will be California dreamin’ for the next few days, as they returned yesterday from the Sunshine State as winners of the Cal State-Northridge Tournament, maintaining a clean sheet all weekend as they defeated hosts Northridge 1-0 on Friday and Cal State-Fullerton 2-0 on Sunday.

“We got two very good results against two very good teams,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “I like where we’re sitting right now. Starting off the season this way puts everyone in a good mood.”

Senior forward Peter Grasso scored two of the three Georgetown goals in the tournament, being named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the tournament. Grasso shared the spotlight with junior defender Len Coleman, who earned the Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors.

Wiese praised the two award-winners and the way they played in the season-opening weekend.

“Peter played terrific this weekend. It’s something he deserves; he’s worked very hard to get into this position, and it’s great to see him come through with some goals,” he said. “Big Lenny was probably the man of the match for both games as far as defense was concerned – the two shutouts were very much attributed to the way he played this weekend. So two very well-deserved awards.”

Grasso and Coleman were also named on the all-Tournament Team, alongside junior midfielder Scott Larrabee – a California native whose West Coast family was able to see him in action – as well as sophomore midfielder Rob Burnett and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mark Wilber.

Wilber marked his first regular-season start on Friday for the Hoyas in style, recording four saves and keeping out Northridge’s 10 shots on goal to shut the hosts out completely.

“The big man came up with two absolutely spectacular saves,” Wiese said of Wilbur. “Two big, big saves to get us that shutout the first game. It was great to see Mark come out for his first game in the gray shirt and give such a terrific performance. He’s an incredible shot-stopper.”

Grasso was the only scorer against Northridge, with his goal coming in during the 19th minute of the first half. A long ball from the flank by junior defender Mark Zeman was deflected sloppily by the Matador goalkeeper, and Grasso pounced on the opportunity to put the ball neatly away.

The Hoyas had more opportunities to score in the second half, with the Blue and Gray taking 10 shots at goal, yet they had trouble finishing the balls and were unlucky not to win by a greater margin against the host team.

The following Sunday, the Hoyas were again out in full force, this time doubling the score of the last game to defeat Cal-State Fullerton 2-0.

Once again, Grasso opened up the scoring with a goal 10 minutes into the second half, this time with the help of a delivery from midfield by senior Corey Zeller.

With less than three minutes left in the game, sophomore forward Chandler Diggs sprinted down the field unmarked with the ball at his feet and blasted the ball past the keeper to secure the victory.

“Chandler has been playing better and better every game,” Wiese said. “He picked up a preseason injury, but he’s looking stronger and stronger.”

Burnett and Larrabee were praised by Wiese for their performances in midfield; both players managed to get a shot each on goal and were responsible for harassing the Titan defense throughout the match

The Hoya attack recorded nine shots at goal, which Fullerton overtook with 12 of their own, but the Titan attack was outdone by another brilliant performance from a Hoya goalkeeper – this time from sophomore Matt Brutto who defended the posts well with five saves to his name.

“Matty Brutto matched Mark with a good performance of his own,” Wiese said. “Matty organizes the game well and can manage his defense well, which is why we played him against Fullerton.”

The coach wasn’t worried about the relatively low scores produced by the Hoyas this weekend.

“They [Northridge and Fullerton] routinely beat teams like UCLA and Santa Barbara and other teams that are on the top in the country. They are terrific, terrific teams, and it says a lot about our boys that we were able to win the game. So going in and figuring out how to win was a bigger accomplishment for us than getting a lot of goals.”

Georgetown’s average of 1.5 goals per game is actually more than double its 0.72 average from last season.

The Hoyas will have a break of four days before they don their cleats again at North Kehoe Field this Friday to face Davidson at 3 p.m.

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