Dec. 1, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's soccer team (19-3-2) made history on Saturday keeping alive the best season in program history. In front of a sellout crowd at North Kehoe Field, the Blue & Gray defeated the University of San Diego Toreros (14-9-0), 3-1, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the first NCAA College Cup in program history.
"This feeling is just awesome," said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. "This postseason has been really interesting for this team since we were expected the get there, being the three seed, but we've never done it before. How you manage that dual mentality is really interesting and I'm so proud of them."
After a quiet first half, the game started at a frantic pace for both sides.
The Toreros got on the board first off of a corner kick in the 49th minute. USD leading scorer Dan Delgado took the kick to the far post and Julian Ringhof got over the rest of the crowd to head it into the top left corner of the net to make it 1-0.
The lead didn't last long as a foul 45-yards out gave junior forward Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa./Council Rock North) a chance at a free kick. He served it high into the box and as a crowd went up for it, the ball was flicked backwards by a San Diego defender and headed into the top right corner of the net for the unlikely equalizer.
The game began to open up after the goals with Georgetown having two huge chances. Freshman forward Brandon Allen (Old Bridge, N.J./St. Joseph's) crossed it, trying to ricochet into the far right post in the 52nd minute which went just wide and senior forward Andy Riemer (McLean, Va./Georgetown Prep) had a great chance on the right side that was saved by San Diego keeper Drew Ilijevski.
In the 65th minute the Toreros began to possess. James Cohn took a long shot that went just left, off of a corner kick. GU keeper Tomas Gomez (Webster Groves, Mo./Webster Groves) was forced to come up with a huge save on the right side and Connor Brandt had another go wide as the defense was on its heels.
The game changed in the 72nd minute with the lead coming from an unlikely source. Riemer drew a foul a few yards outside of the right corner of the box and Neumann took the restart. He served it perfectly to the far corner and freshman midfielder Melvin Snoh (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) came sliding in from the left side and got a foot on it to send it to the corner of the net to give GU the 2-1 lead as the crowd went wild.
"It was nice to get my first goal in this atmosphere and in front of this crowd," said Snoh.
USD had two quick chances following the goal, but the Hoyas stayed strong on defense and countered on offense looking for goal number three.
It looked as if that would come in the 85th minute when Neumann had an open net, but the shot went left and the Toreros countered still looking dangerous.
The third goal did come late in the contest as junior forward Gabe Padilla (Sacramento, Calif./Jesuit) got it started by forcing a USD turnover. He passed it to Neumann at the top of the box who calmly one-touched to Riemer on the left. The senior shot to the left post but the ball ricocheted off. Fortunately, it went back to the foot of Riemer who finished to the middle making the score 3-1 and sealing the victory for the Blue & Gray.
San Diego had the first big chance of the contest in the 22nd minute as Delgado took a free kick from 40-yards out and skimmed the top of the crossbar just going high.
Late in the half, Georgetown began to attack as Riemer had a look at the net as well as one more shot off of a restart that was mishandled by Ilijevski.
The best look came from sophomore midfielder Tom Skelly (Albuquerque, N.M./Shattuck-St. Mary's) who had a chance at a poke but went just right.
These chances set the stage for the explosive second half and the 3-1 final.
Georgetown outshot San Diego, 12-8, and both squads took five corner kicks. Gomez was awarded the win in the net with two saves, while Ilijevski had three stops on the afternoon.
The Hoyas' 19 wins this season is also a new program record breaking the previous mark set in 1994.
"We're just proud to be Hoyas," said Riemer. "We're proud to make history and to carry this streak into the Final Four."
Georgetown will face local-rival the University of Maryland on Friday in the national semifinals in Hoover, Ala. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 or 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on ESPNU and Georgetown fans can listen to an audio-only webcast on GUHoyas.com featuring Dan Helfrich and Tom Greaser.