MEN'S SOCCER | GU's Offensive Explosion Sinks Pirates
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 01:10
The scorching pace of the Georgetown men’s soccer team on Saturday afternoon mirrored the day’s weather: hot and intense. The Hoyas came out strong on Shaw Field, scoring goal after goal en route to an 8-0 blowout win over Seton Hall (3-5-2, 0-2-0 Big East). The Hoyas (8-2-1, 1-0-1 Big East) thoroughly dominated the run of play, seeming to possess, shoot and score at will against a Pirates team that had few answers.
Senior forward Steve Neumann led the No. 11 Georgetown attack with a hat trick and an assist that made him the fourth player in Georgetown history to record 100 career points and earned him the honor of Big East offensive player of the week. After an own goal by Seton Hall opened up the scoring, Neumann put a goal past the near post off a cross from sophomore defender Keegan Rosenberry. Neumann settled a cross almost on the penalty spot, turned and found the back of the net near the end of the first half for his second, and he completed the hat trick by converting a penalty kick drawn by freshman midfielder Alex Muyl in the 59th minute.
“We were looking to put the game away pretty early,” Neumann said. “It was good to get three goals for my confidence.”
In a game where 23 members of Georgetown’s 27-man roster saw playing time, junior midfielder Tom Skelly got his second consecutive start and recorded both a goal and an assist. His goal, a shot from the top left corner of the 18-yard box, and assist, which led to a diving header by sophomore forward Brandon Allen, were part of a run of three goals in just over two minutes in the second half.
“I was really excited. I assisted [Allen], and I was just excited to get on the stats sheet,” Skelly said.
Head Coach Brian Wiese praised his team for maintaining a high level of play in the unusually warm temperatures. He also believed that a focused week of training and strong performances by reserves in scrimmages led to the decisive victory. The Hoyas got nearly every break, and even the playing styles of each side seemed to favor the home team.
“I think we match up well against Seton Hall,” Wiese said. “I think how we play and how they play, it’s always been hard for Seton Hall with us. And today, the goals just kind of came in.”
The Georgetown defense earned its third consecutive shutout and its eighth of the season, a number that leads Division I soccer. Seton Hall was able to put only one shot on goal the entire game, while the Hoyas had 10. Despite such an overwhelmingly positive performance, Neumann knows his team will be working hard this week in preparation for an away game against Big East rival Providence (7-1-2, 2-0-0 Big East) on Wednesday.
“Obviously, we are going in hungry to the next Big East games. We have a tough road this week. We have two away games, Providence and Xavier, and it’s always going to be tough in the Big East to get road points,” Neumann said.
Georgetown and Providence have split the last four games they have played against each other, including a win by the Friars in the Big East tournament in 2010. Last season, Georgetown won 1-0 in Providence after a late goal by Neumann. In past years, the Friars’ home field, a poorly kept grass surface, has itself been a major factor in games. Wednesday’s game, however, will be the first played on a brand new field turf facility, something Wiese is excited about.
“If we were playing on that grass field, it would change the game entirely,” Wiese said. “It’s not soccer. The surface is so bad, it’s just not soccer.”
The Friars are 2-0 this year in conference play after wins against Seton Hall and No. 14 St. John’s. Providence has allowed an average of over one goal per game, compared to Georgetown’s rate of less than one goal every two games. Neumann, Allen and Muyl, who have combined for 90 shots this season, will look to continue their scoring against a defense that has recorded only three shutouts this year. On the flip side, in order to record their fourth straight clean sheet, the Hoyas will need to stop freshman midfielder Julian Gressel and senior midfielder Anthony Baumann, the Friars’ points leaders this season.
Georgetown will also need to overcome a busy Big East schedule that includes two road games in four days, meaning the team will have little practice time to prepare for Providence and then Xavier on Saturday. Nevertheless, Skelly is confident in the Hoyas’ ability to keep up both on and off the field.
“Academically and athletically there is a lot of pressure,” he said. “We’re travelling a lot, but we are really motivated to get our studies done and get some good results.”