MEN'S SOCCER | Gomez, Defense Dominate in Shutout Wins
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 01:09
Notching two more home wins this weekend over Duquesne on Friday and James Madison on Sunday, the No. 17 Georgetown men’s soccer team improved to 4-2 on the season, with only two games to go before conference play begins. Sophomore forward Brandon Allen scored the game-winning goals in both 1-0 victories, including an overtime beauty to clinch the win over James Madison.
The Duquesne match up was pushed from Thursday to Friday due to inclement weather, but the Hoyas took the delay in stride and started strong, tallying seven shots in the first half. Georgetown’s pressure paid off in the 27th minute, when a string of clean passes culminated in the game’s only goal.
Junior midfielder Tyler Rudy got the ball in the middle near the top of the box and sent it out wide, where sophomore attacking defender Keegan Rosenberry picked it up before crossing it perfectly to the feet of Allen who put it away.
Whether he’s starting transitions from the defensive line or attacking from the backfield, Rosenberry’s passes and timing are at the center of many of the Hoyas’ best offensive chances and have earned him the admiration of Head Coach Brian Wiese.
“I think he’s the best attacking fullback in the country. He just makes good decisions; his timing is excellent, which I don’t think a lot of people really appreciate,” Wiese said. “He gets into the spots at the right times. When he gets into these areas, he plays a really good pass or a cross.”
The Blue and Gray created a couple more promising chances, most notably a header from sophomore left back Josh Turnley that hit the post, but the Duquesne keeper — who had yet to give up a goal all season before Friday — lived up to the hype and came up with several huge saves. Even so, Wiese thought the Hoyas should have been able to put away a few more goals.
“I thought we moved the ball pretty well and then we petered off from that. My disappointment at the end of the game was that we stopped doing the easy things that could have really put the game out of sight.” Wiese said. “But overall it’s a win.”
Junior goalkeeper Tomas Gomez also played his part in keeping the Dukes scoreless, making six saves, including blocking one shot rocketed by senior forward Simon Gomez that looked destined to dip in under the crossbar.
“Tomas was excellent, very calm, and handled all the stuff really well. Even when things weren’t going well, we felt very good that he was back there,” Wiese said.
On Sunday, the Hoyas faced off against another team of Dukes and needed 95 minutes to penetrate the defensively minded squad from JMU. Playing almost the entire game in James Madison’s half, the Hoyas outshot the Dukes 20-7 and earned 15 corner kicks to the Dukes’ 2.
“We just felt like we had to be patient, and I think for us it was just don’t get complacent and keep the tempo high,” Wiese said. “The reality is we’ve had the ball so long and they just defended for so long it’s hard, they run out of legs.”
Allen missed a chance to end the game in the waning minutes of regulation but redeemed himself 10 minutes into the first overtime period.
“Coach made a sub — Josh Turnley on for [Jared] Rist — and his first play he threw it in to me and I spin the guy, cut another player and hit it to close off my right foot,” Allen said. “It was a matter of finding the gaps, and I thought we did that well today.”
Though the Hoyas dominated the possession of the game, missed chances early on and JMU’s strategy to beef up on defense prolonged the game.
“They ended up sitting in deeper and deeper and the spaces got tighter and tighter,” Wiese said. “It got harder, almost, as the game went on. We really needed to take some chances in the first half.”
As for the Hoyas’ many set pieces, none of which resulted in a goal, Wiese wasn’t overly concerned that his team couldn’t convert.
“Corners have zero correlation to goals,” Wiese said. “But we’ll have … plenty of video to look at. We would like to execute that a little better.”
The usual starters were on the field at the opening whistle, with the addition of freshman midfielder Bakie Goodman, who usually subs in off the bench for one of the other midfielders. Sophomore midfielder Melvin Snoh, however, who played well in Georgetown’s loss to New Mexico, didn’t play any minutes in Sunday’s game. According to Wiese, giving players enough time on the field to find their rhythm is the reason for the line-up changes in Sunday’s game.
“[Snoh] is frustrated he didn’t play today. But to be fair, we’ve been doing a disservice to our wide midfielders,” Wiese said. “We have five wide midfielders that we’ve been cycling in and out, and they, as a group, have to come to grips with this, but now is the time in the season where we have to start making decisions.”
Wiese noted that the decisions could be on a game-by-game basis and added, “Melvin may start on Thursday [against Penn] … Melvin will be in the picture.”
The Hoyas travel to Philadelphia on Thursday to face Penn. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.