For most teams, a shutout victory on the road against a conference opponent would be a game of note. For No. 9 Georgetown (10-2-2, 6-0-0 Big East), however, it was business as usual. The Hoyas earned a 1-0 victory over St. John’s (3-9-3, 1-3-2 Big East) Saturday evening, with senior forward Brandon Allen scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot.
The 1-0 score line did not reflect Georgetown’s performance in Queens, N.Y. The Hoyas controlled the match from start to finish, with both the offense and defense turning in strong performances.
“There’s not a lot to complain about when you watch the game and you watch the video, just in terms of mentality,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “I thought the first half was good, and I thought the second half was really good.”
The Hoyas kept the Red Storm on their back foot for most of the match. Georgetown had 20 shots over the course of the game, six of which were on goal. Meanwhile, St. John’s had only five shots over the course of the match. Allen and junior forward Alex Muyl led the team with six shots each.
“It was off-the-ball kinds of things. I would check in and that would create a lot of space in behind for [Muyl],” Allen said. “Then we kept rotating throughout the game, who was going to go and who was going to stay. That made a lot of gaps in front of them and gaps behind.”
In contrast, none of St. John’s shots were on goal, and freshman goalkeeper J.T. Marcinkowski did not have to make a single save Saturday evening. The match marked the sixth straight shutout for Georgetown. All six of those matches have come against conference opponents, and Georgetown is the only team in the conference yet to concede a goal in Big East play. The Hoyas’ run without a goal allowed is now at 546 minutes of game action.
The lone goal of the match came in the 59th minute, when Allen scored from the penalty spot. Sophomore midfielder Arun Basuljevic was fouled in the box, setting up the game-winning opportunity. Allen, who has been taking penalty kicks for the team for the past several seasons, stepped up and put the chance away.
“It’s something I have been doing for a couple years now. I’ve done it at [the New York Red Bulls] and I’m doing it here,” Allen said. “Stepping up to the spot, if you have confidence, then there should be no problem. As long as you approach it with confidence, you’ll be fine.”
The win brought with it a number of broken records. Georgetown’s six consecutive shutouts are the most in program history, and Wiese earned his first career away victory at St. John’s. The 11-match run without a loss also ties a program record.
The team will return to Shaw Field on Wednesday to play Seton Hall (0-12-1, 0-6 Big East). The Pirates have yet to win a match this season and are in the midst of an 11-game losing skid. They sit in last place, with little chance of escaping the basement of the conference standings.
Nevertheless, Seton Hall has proved in the past that it can play the role of spoiler. Last season, it defeated then No. 3 Georgetown 1-0, sending the Hoyas plummeting through the rankings. The loss also hurt Georgetown’s chances of winning a conference title as it finished only three points out of first place. This year, Wiese is ensuring that his players are prepared for every opponent, even one without a win this season.
“You don’t know what to say, because they aren’t bad,” Wiese said. “They have that record, and we are trying to tell the guys to ignore it, to put that record right out the window because they are pretty good. They have some attacking players that are pretty good.”
Respect for the opponent, among other reasons, will likely lead Wiese to start the same lineup against Seton Hall as he has for the last several matches. The same group of 11 players has started every game since late September, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
“With our group right now we are in a really good rhythm,” Wiese said. “It’s hard to make a lot of changes as a coach when you are playing well and you are not conceding goals and you are winning games and all that.”
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