Over the past few weeks, Georgetown’s men’s soccer team (9-3-3, 4-2-0 Big East) has played No. 17 Notre Dame, then-No. 23 West Virginia and the team with the best record in the Big East, Marquette. It doesn’t get any easier for the Hoyas this weekend as they travel to Storrs, Conn. to face the No. 1 team in the country, Connecticut (13-1-1, 4-1-1 Big East).

The Blue and Gray are coming off a crucial 3-2 victory over Marquette on Wednesday night. The Hoyas are now tied with West Virginia for third place in the Big East Blue Division, behind Connecticut and Marquette.

“If we get a win, we will be ahead of UConn in points, and we will have the head-to-head advantage over Marquette,” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “This game on Saturday is the one that is going to decide the title at the end of the day.”

The Hoyas won at Marquette on Wednesday on the back of sophomore midfielder Steve Neumann’s two goals. Neumann evened the score in the 84th minute and then volleyed home the game-winner in the 88th minute.

The sophomore midfielder has been on fire over the past week and a half, tallying eight points on three goals and two assists. On Monday, he was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. Neumann also ranks second in the Big East in points and is ranked among the top 30 players in the country in points per game.

“He has been playing better and better. He is one of the best goal-scorers in the league,” Wiese said. “He is just becoming a more and more complete player in the attacking half of the field.”

On Saturday, Neumann and the Georgetown offense will face a Connecticut squad that ranks first in the country in shutout percentage and team goals against average. The Huskies reeled off nine straight shutouts in September and early October before falling to West Virginia in Morgantown on Tuesday, 2-0. Unfortunately for the Hoyas, Connecticut has been especially good at home this year.

“UConn is a different team at home. They are dangerous. They are one of the most athletic teams in the country,” Wiese said. “They have guys who can score goals in all different ways individually.”

Georgetown’s defense also does not seem to be at the same level now as it was earlier this year. Over the past four games — all conference matchups — the Hoyas have surrendered seven goals.

“We take a lot pride in being hard to score on,” Wiese said. “I don’t think we have had a shutout in five games. That in itself isn’t a huge worry. We just have to tighten up a few things.”

Fortunately for the Hoyas, junior defender Jimmy Nealis will return to the lineup on Saturday. Nealis missed the Marquette game because he was assessed a red card against Notre Dame.

“Jimmy was a huge loss in the Marquette game,” Wiese said. “It was a remarkable result. We went in there and won without one of our best players.”

The Hoyas will attempt to limit Connecticut’s scoring chances and leave Storrs with an important Big East win.

“We are not going in there thinking about a tie. We want to get three points. We want to get a win,” Wiese said. “You need to have a game like that where you do something exceptional, and I think this is it.”

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