MEN'S SOCCER | Allen Clinches Georgetown's 2-1 Win Over Penn State
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 00:09
Three home games, three one-goal victories and three Brandon Allen game-winners: that’s been the story so far for the Georgetown men’s soccer team, which triumphed 2-1 over Penn State at rainy North Kehoe Field on Sunday afternoon.
The win moves the Hoyas to 4-0 on the year, giving the program its best start to the season since it began 5-0-0 back in 2008. Every opponent that has come to the Hilltop this season has arrived undefeated and left with its first L and, each time, the finishing blow has been delivered by the same freshman’s boot.
“The way the calendar falls, we played three games this week, and Brandon’s won all three games with [his goals],” said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese after the game. “For a young guy to be able to come out and do that, it’s pretty special, and all three goals were great goals that were taken differently and taken really well. It’s nice having that kind of an option out there.”
Allen may have started from day one of the 2012 campaign, but few could have predicted such a torrid start to his collegiate career. He currently leads the squad by some margin not only in goals but also in points, shots and shots on goal.
Junior forward Steve Neumann, though, remains the team’s offensive centerpiece, despite having taken a definitive second seat to the newcomer in the record books four games in. Wiese attributed that to Neumann assuming more of a “playmaker” role in the center of the park, which he explained does so much to facilitating the offense, regardless of what the stat sheet may say.
“His time [to take the spotlight] will come, too,” Wiese said. “That’s the exciting thing about it. Brandon’s getting a lot of the goals right now but Stevie’s going to get his goals, [too]. We need to make sure that we have multiple weapons [ready to take over] depending on the nature of the game.”
One of those weapons Sunday was once again Allen, but the Hoyas first tally on the day actually came courtesy of the Nittany Lions, via Georgetown left back Jimmy Nealis.
The senior, who has rattled the goalmouth with long-range efforts often in the past few games, did so again in the 25th minute Sunday. And this time, the scrum that ensued saw the ball knocked in by an unlucky PSU defender to give GU the lead.
“I just saw a chance to take it on a counter and got it, beat the first defender, and came in,” Nealis said. “The last game [when I hit the post] I was actually looking to pass it off, and this one I just took it myself and was lucky enough to get the bounce off the post and then off the defender and in. So unfortunately I don’t get the goal, but we get the win.”
But just like in all of the other games the Blue and Gray have played this season, the win on Sunday did not come comfortably. Wiese’s squad didn’t always look sharp and the visitors capitalized early on in the second when a cross into the box was hammered home to provide the equalizer. The tie wouldn’t last long.
In fact, it barely lasted at all, as Allen answered right back less than a minute later to put his team quickly back on top.
Receiving the ball from a characteristically forward-looking Nealis, Allen craftily beat his defender, bought himself some space at the top of the box and coolly slotted it home.
The win marks the team’s second-straight without senior centerback Tommy Muller and sophomore midfielder Tom Skelly, both normal members of the starting eleven.
“This is exactly why you need to have a deep team,” Wiese said of his team dealing with the absences of Muller and Skelly. “You’re missing two starters, and other guys step up and take care of it, which is, I think, the mark of a good team.”
Nealis was in full agreement.
“That’s what this team’s made of this year—stepping up, different guys [contributing, and] the depth of this team [can help us] go really far and be successful,” he said.
The next test for the Hoyas will come on Friday, as the team will now hit the road for the first time this season. Georgetown begins its Midwest stretch on Friday, when it takes on Illinois-Chicago at 8 p.m. A contest with Wisconsin follows Sunday in Madison, with that kickoff scheduled for noon.