Nov. 18, 2012
WASHINGTON - The third-seeded Georgetown University men's soccer team (18-3-1) made history on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over the UNC Charlotte 49ers (15-4-3) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at North Kehoe Field. The win advanced the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 for just the second time in program history and gave the squad 18 wins which ties a program record set in 1994.
"At this point in the season, every game is hard no matter who you play and Charlotte is an organized, well coached team with some talented players so I'm happy with the result," said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. "That game went how we thought it would and it came down to who would take the opportunities when they got them and we were able to finish today."
Just minutes into the game, freshman forward Brandon Allen(Old Bridge, N.J./St. Joseph's) tested Charlotte keeper Klay Davis with a hard shot a few yards out on the left side that was saved.
As the half continued, neither squad could gain the momentum until late in as Georgetown began to get going and spent time on possessions.
With 15 minutes remaining in the first, junior forward Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa./Council Rock North) had the best chance of the game to that point with a good build up on the right side featuring senior defender Jimmy Nealis (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) and sophomore midfielder Tyler Rudy(Olney, Md./Sherwood and a hard shot that went just high.
In the 37th minute, things began to get heated as a small scuffle resulted in the referee stopping the game and calming both sides down. However, the play continued to be physical for the remainder of the match.
Everything changed in the 43rd minute off of a set piece as the Hoyas got on the board. Neumann hit a corner kick to the near post and freshman defender Keegan Rosenberry(Ronks, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) flicked it toward the top left corner. Rosenberry looked to have it, but upon further review, Allen got up above the crowd and got his head on it to redirect it past Davis' outstretched glove to give the Blue & Gray the 1-0 lead.
This advantage held through the half as the Hoyas continued to look dangerous, but the 49ers battled to come back.
In the 60th minute, Charlotte used a free kick to go into the box and a punch from sophomore goalkeeper Tomas Gomez(Webster Groves, Mo./Webster Groves) didn't get the ball out of danger. Giuseppe Gentile had a header into a wide open net, but Nealis made the defensive play of the day clearing it off the line to keep it scoreless.
Late in the game, it looked as though the Hoyas would win by two as a textbook run from senior midfielder Andy Riemer(McLean, Va./Georgetown Prep) looked in before ricocheting off of the inside of the post.
Gomez came up with a big stop late as the Blue & Gray held on for the 1-0 victory and Allen's goal stood as the game winner to advance the Hoyas to the next round.
Both teams managed eight shots for the afternoon and GU took five corner kicks to the 49ers four. Gomez took the win in the net with two saves, while Davis tallied one.
Georgetown's last trip to the Sweet 16 was in 1997 with a smaller field of teams. The Hoyas defeated VCU in the first round, 2-1, before falling at Virginia, 5-1, in the second round. This will be the first time the program hosts a Sweet 16 game on campus.
The Hoyas will play the winner of Syracuse and Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday, November 25 at North Kehoe Field at 1 p.m. Live stats and a free webcast featuring Dan Helfrich and Tom Greaser will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.