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Soccer prepares for battle in NJ
The Georgetown men’s soccer team (5-0-1) was looking sharp on all fronts coming into its game against Wisconsin. It had gone ahead on teams, it had come from behind, it had outlasted opponents in overtime, and shut teams out completely. Once the Hoyas stepped out onto the field at the University of Wisconsin (1-2-2), though, they realized the Badgers were not going to make it easy, striking first with a goal in the 27th minute.
The Hoyas had been down before, so this was nothing new to the squad as they battled hard to even the score. Senior midfielders Andy Riemer and Ian Christianson both had shots on goal, but the former bounced one off the post and the latter could not drive it past the opposing keeper.
It was not until the 68th minute that the Hoyas got their best opportunity to score, with a foul inside the box. Christianson lined up for the penalty kick and launched a rocket right at the keeper. On the rebound, however, Christianson tapped the ball into the net to tie the game at one all. Despite attempts by Riemer and freshman forward Brandon Allen, regulation time ran out and the teams entered overtime for the third time this season.
Neither team was able to best the other in the first half of overtime and after another ten-minute period resulted in another draw, Georgetown earned its first tie of the season. Staying positive, the Hoyas took consolation in remaining undefeated for the year.
“Once you get used to winning its very much a habit…but the nature of the game, the nature of the overtime, we had a lot of chances. We had plenty of chances to win,” said Head Coach Brian Wiese of the draw.
In order to continue their winning ways, the Hoyas need to tighten up their play earlier in the game, fighting to take a lead on opponents instead of dropping down 1-0 early on. A major factor in achieving this goal will be the continued caliber of play for sophomore goalkeeper Tomas Gomez. Although Wisconsin was able to slip one by him last Sunday, his consistently tough play has given the offense the opportunity to come back and win games. His four saves last game give him at total of 20 on the season. Coach Wiese claims though that there is additional motivation behind Tomas’s high level of play in back up keeper Keon Parsa.
“It’s hard for me to talk about Tomas without talking about Keon, who’s really the other goalkeeper pushing there,” Wiese said. “Both of those guys are doing terrifically well and I think a lot of Tomas’s success is because he has Keon pushing him every day.”
One of the surprises of this year’s season is the visibility of junior forward Steve Neumann’s play. With only one goal and one assist on the season, his involvement in the team’s scoring has seemed to slow down since his impressive season last year. While not breaking through onto the stat sheet with goals in each game, Neumann has placed the ball where it needs to be to set up many of the Hoya victories.
“He’s just so important for what we do. If you take a look at the things he does for us, he’s very much a playmaker,” Wiese said of Neumann.
The team is very much looking forward to its game against Princeton this Friday. Princeton has faced Big East opponents in each of its first three matches, preparing the Tigers for the higher level of competition in the Big East as opposed to the Ivy League. Coach Wiese expects the game to be a challenge for the undefeated Hoyas.
“It’s a group that can play.,” Wiese said of Princeton. “They can handle the ball; they got some dangerous players that can punish you if you make some mistakes, but I think from our point of view we have to see if we can still do what we can do well even though we’re on the road.”