After suffering a tough loss to Virginia Commonwealth in its first game of the season, the Georgetown men’s soccer team got back on track last weekend, improving to 2-1 with a two-goal victory over Radford and a double-overtime win against Stanford.

Now, sophomore midfielder Steve Neumann and the Hoyas will see if they can produce away from home. The Blue and Gray take their show on the road this weekend, facing off against Michigan and Michigan State. If Neumann continues his recent play, the Hoyas could very well come back with two wins.

The sophomore scored two goals just 79 seconds apart in Friday’s win against Radford and added his third of the week in the 105th minute of play against Stanford. He has scored every Georgetown goal so far this season and earned spots on both the Big East Weekly Honor Roll and the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.

“He scored three goals this week, picking up right where he left off,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “We made a pretty minor, but I think important, adjustment to what we’re doing with him when we have the ball. He had one shot against VCU, and then suddenly he went up to having five against Radford and four against Stanford.”

The Hoyas are also shaping up as a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end, allowing only one goal so far this season in their first game against VCU. Georgetown shut out both Radford and Stanford this past weekend.

“The thing that we take a lot of pride in as a team is trying to be good defensively. We try not to give up too many opportunities and I think the fact that in the first few games we only managed to give up one goal is really good,” Wiese said.

This weekend is shaping up to be slightly tougher than last, however. Both Michigan and Michigan State made impressive NCAA tournament runs last year and will prove to be challenging opponents. The Hoyas, however, won’t let the pressure of playing top teams get to them.

“We never worry too much about our opponents. We don’t change. The boys will tell you our pregame talk is very similar for each game and for each opponent,” Wiese said. “We just focus very much on ourselves and what we’re doing, and whether we’re able to execute our own game plan.”

On Friday, the Hoyas will play their first game of the series against Michigan State. The Spartans have had a slow start to the season, losing their first four games by just one goal each. They earned their first victory last Sunday against New Hampshire, shutting out the Wildcats 3-0 to improve to 1-4 on the season.

The Blue and Gray will face off against Michigan on Sunday. The Wolverines have also had a disappointing start to the season after last year’s NCAA tournament success. They have lost all five of their games and been shut out three times, scoring only two goals so far this season.

Georgetown isn’t letting these records fool them, though. Last year Michigan State made it to the third round of the NCAA tournament before falling, 5-4, in penalty kicks to top ranked North Carolina, and Michigan fell just one game short of an NCAA title shot after losing by one goal in the final four to No. 2 Akron.

“For Michigan and Michigan State, the only difference for us is that we’re on the road and we’re playing away from home against two NCAA tournament teams,” Wiese said. “Michigan was a College Cup Final Four team last year and Michigan State was a Sweet 16 team, so these are great programs. We’re going to have to be very good to get results at their place.”

In order to improve on last season, during which they fell to UNC in the second round in the NCAA Tournament, the Hoyas are focusing a great deal on endurance as well as meshing their offensive and defensive skills. Georgetown’s key to success in Michigan will be its ability to stay consistent.

“In the Radford game we had a very good first half but a subpar second half. In the Stanford game, we had a very subpar first half but a very good second half. So if you smash those two games together we’ve got a very good game in us,” Wiese said. “The question for us is can we put together 90 minutes on any single given game.”

The Hoyas will face off against Michigan State on Friday at 5:00 p.m. before taking on Michigan Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

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