After a mixed weekend in California, the Georgetown men’s soccer team (2-2-0, 0-0 Big East) was looking to improve on what was a disappointing performance. Two games against West Virginia and New Mexico provided the perfect opportunity for the Hoyas to test their mettle. Despite their best efforts, the Hoyas again had to settle for a single win, defeating West Virginia and suffering a disappointing loss to New Mexico.
“When you play top level teams, you’re going to lose those games sometimes,” said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. “The trick is to make sure you win some as well. When you play teams that are like you, you’re five hundred—It makes some sense. You have to make sure that the next game you’re out and you play a team like that, you’ve learned from it.”
The Hoyas’ home opener against the West Virginia Mountaineers (1-1-1, 0-0 MAC) provided the team with an array of encouraging moments. The 3-0 win for the Hoyas included goals from junior forward Austin Martz and sophomore forward Brandon Allen. Freshman forward Bakie Goodman rounded out the score with his first career goal for Georgetown. The defense, which looked suspect during the pre-season, put in an excellent form against West Virginia and gave the Hoya backline hope for the coming season.
Freshman central defender Joshua Yaro spoke about the defense and the team’s tremendous depth, saying, “I think we always put out a really strong first eleven… everyone on our bench is just as good as the people starting.” This confidence was visible during Georgetown’s impressive win over the Mountaineers.
The Hoyas’ sudden death double overtime defeat to the No. 9 New Mexico Lobos (2-0-1, 0-0 Conference USA) Sunday afternoon offered a different lesson for the team.
“I thought New Mexico came in with a very good plan and executed it really well. … We weren’t able to create the gaps we needed,” Wiese said.
While the Hoyas were not able to secure victory, sparks of brilliance during the game gave the impression that this Hoya squad is capable of great things. Josua Yaro’s passing range was on full display, wonder freshman Alex Muyl caused the opposing defense all sorts of problems, and sophomore forward Melvin Snoh toasted Lobo after Lobo. The game was close, and the possession was evenly distributed.
The Hoyas even had a beautiful goal disallowed for offsides. As they prepare for upcoming games, the Hoyas can definitely reflect on the positives of this game.
One aspect of their game that Georgetown needs to improve on before their next outing is cohesion. Fortunately, senior forward and Hoya captain Steve Neumann believes the team is growing.
“I think we’ve gotten better definitely since the preseason,” Neumann said. “The understanding of the freshman coming in and contributing has been great. I think we just need to put the final pieces together, where we’re getting that killer instinct, where we can finish off these games and get wins against tough teams like these.”
The Hoyas have much to be proud of, but also much work to attend to as they aspire tomatch the unprecedented achievements of last season.
“It’s a long season,” Wiese said. “For us, it’s a matter of making sure that we, we have a couple of things that we have to solve as a team to get better, to create more, and to do some things, but we’ve got to keep evolving as a team and we will.”
In the meantime, the Hoyas are preparing to host Duquesne University (4-0, 0-0 Atlantic 10) this Thursday at 4 p.m. on Shaw Field. The Dukes enter this matchup after winning their first four contests of the year without surrendering a goal, capturing the Duqense Invitational tournament title in the process.
The Dukes are led by sophomomore goalkeeper Sam Frymier, who has been playing at a high level all season. This past week, Frymier was selected to the College Soccer News National Team of Week after recording four consecutive shutouts, including an impressive nine-save performance against Incarnate Word. The Hoyas will be hard-pressed to find the back of the net versus Frymier. The pressure will certainly be on Neumann and Allen to improve their understanding and put the Hoyas on the board.
This game will be the third of four consecutive home games for the Hoyas. It will most assuredly be a redemptive game for the Blue and Gray, as they plan to come back from the loss to the Lobos and play soccer the Georgetown way.