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Men’s soccer preps for tourney
After a successful regular season, the Georgetown men’s soccer team has qualified for the Big East Tournament and will begin with a tough test at St. John’s tonight. The Hoyas were given the sixth seed in the tournament after a posting a 10-4-4 record and going 5-3-1 in the Big East.
Georgetown faced stiff competition in the Big East regular season, matching up against nationally renowned programs such as No. 4 Connecticut and No. 18 Notre Dame. While they struggled to win consistently at home, they were defeated just once in nine away appearances. Their resilience on the road might come in handy, as the team will be away from North Kehoe Field from here on.
“It’s been a really good group to work with,” head coach Brian Weise said. “I think they are very close and have an intangible quality to them. We’ve had a lot of interesting games.”
The Hoyas closed out their regular season with an unexpected defeat to Providence. While they battled hard against their conference rival, they could not overcome the Friars through difficult conditions of rain, snow, and sleet.
Junior captain Tommy Muller, however, has not lost faith in his team’s potential in the postseason, despite their disappointing defeat.
“We faced a lot of hardships as far as conditions,” he said. “But we feel confident in our ability to win games and do well in the postseason.”
Last season, Providence ended the Hoyas’ Big East run in the quarterfinals after a frustrating encounter. This year, the team hopes for better progress leading into the NCAA Tournament.
“We are going to attack it like we usually do,” Muller said. “We are going to go in confident that we have the ability to win.”
Wiese is also optimistic and believes the Big East is a much tighter conference than records or seeding would suggest.
“We have as good of a chance of winning the league as anyone else,” he said. “The distance between the top seed and the sixth seed is almost nothing … I think this team is a group that has an innate self-confidence and that we have a good chance of winning [the tournament].”
While the Hoyas are excited to start their league tournament, they understand what this game means to the future of the team. St. John’s is a strong opponent, earning a No. 3 seed. Georgetown last played the Red Storm in 2009, losing 2-0 away in New York.
This time around the game will be crucial for the Hoyas’ extended postseason hopes as they seek an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
“I think our next game is a must win looking at getting into the NCAA Tournament,” said Muller. “We feel it is a game we are intended and expected to win.”
Beyond reaching the Big East semifinals at Red Bull Arena, the Hoyas are set on progress in the NCAAs, where they have unfinished business from last season. Junior captain Ian Christianson is looking to quench the bitter taste lingering from last season’s unfortunate end, where they found themselves losing on penalties kicks in the second round to perennial powerhouse UNC after a well-fought contest.
“We went out on a heartbreaker last year,” he said. “Looking at the bigger picture with the NCAAs, we’d love to make a bigger run … It’d be great to build on last year.”
With a win tonight, the Hoyas will help secure that chance.