Nov. 25, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's soccer squad (18-3-2) kept its season alive on Sunday tying the Syracuse University Orange (14-6-1), 1-1, at North Kehoe Field and advancing to the Elite Eight on penalty kicks with a 4-2 decision. Freshman forward Brandon Allen (Old Bridge, N.J./St. Joseph's) scored the tying goal in the 85th minute and Georgetown looked strong in PK's to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history.
"Once again the guys that step up and make your plays are the ones you expect," said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. "There's so much fight in them, there's no quit and I don't think there was ever panic. There was urgency, but there was never panic and I don't think they would have stopped believing until the final horn sounded. That's a credit to these guys not to panic or allow their season to slip away."
After trailing for much of the contest, the equalizer came once again on the foot of Allen after a scramble in front of the net. Georgetown had dominated possession throughout the game but struggled to find the back of the cage. Allen's goal came as the time was winding down and it seemed as if the season may be over for the Blue & Gray.
After scoring the equalizer, Georgetown continued to fight trying for the game winner in regulation as well as during the two overtime periods. However, the game winner never came ending the game in a 1-1 tie and moving to penalty kicks to determine which team would advance.
The Hoyas were previously 0-for-3 on penalty kicks, but had a strong showing with all four shooters scoring including junior forward Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa./Council Rock North), senior midfielder Ian Christianson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Christian Life), senior midfielder Andy Riemer (McLean, Va./Georgetown Prep) and senior defender Jimmy Nealis (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa).
On the other side of the ball, Syracuse missed its first and made the next two before sophomore goalkeeper Tomas Gomez (Webster Groves, Mo./Webster Groves) came up with a huge save on the fourth to seal it for the Blue & Gray and begin the celebration.
To begin the game, Allen had the first look at the net, shooting high. However, the first 20 minutes of the half was fairly uneventful with neither team gaining momentum. A pair of GU fouls gave the Orange back-to-back free kicks, but neither really threatened.
A ball into the box in the 25th minute forced SU keeper Alex Bono to come out and Allen tried to get it past him, but Bono made the big save to keep it scoreless.
Syracuse answered on a poor giveaway by the Hoyas and a low ball to the middle of the goal to corner with a 2v2. Gomez collected the hard shot to hold the squad.
In the 29th minute, everything changed as Syracuse took a long free kick from the left side. Jordan Murrell's serve was right to the head of Jordan Vale who redirected it into the left corner to make it 1-0.
The Hoyas' Christianson had a chance on the next possession shooting with his left foot, but an SU defender made abig play blocking it just wide of the goal.
Neumann had a late free kick opportunity, but couldn't find the back of the goal to go into the break trailing, 1-0, at the break.
Georgetown possessed the entire second half but had few real chances until late in the contest. In the 69th minute, Riemer took a shot that was all but in except for a huge block from the Orange defense to keep the lead.
Bono was forced to make two huge saves including one on a skillful shot from freshman defender Keegan Rosenberry (Ronks, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite).
Allen's equalizer followed and Georgetown went on for the tie and the win in penalty kicks.
The stats told the story of the game with the Hoyas outshooting the Orange, 21-5, and taking nine corner kicks to Syracuse's three. Bono made eight saves in the net, while Gomez tallied one.
The last time GU went into PK's in the NCAA Tournament, the Hoyas failed to advance after a scoreless game at UNC in 2010. This will be the program's first-ever trip to the Elite Eight with the previous best a stop in the Sweet 16.
Georgetown will host the winner of Tulsa/San Diego on Saturday at 1 p.m., at North Kehoe Field. Live stats and a free webcast featuring Dan Helfrich and Tom Greaser will be available at www.GUHoyas.com. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $5. Georgetown students with a GOCard will be admitted free of charge thanks to the generosity of an athletics donor.