Dec. 9, 2012
HOOVER, Ala. - The best season in Georgetown University men's soccer history came to an end Sunday afternoon at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., in the College Cup National Championship as the Hoyas fell to the Indiana University Hoosiers, 1-0. Georgetown started the season unranked and went all the way to the national championship game with a storied postseason run and finished the season with a record of 19-4-3.
"First off congratulations are in order to Indiana, they were deserved winners. I also have to say that it's a real honor and privilege to represent Georgetown University, this athletic department and this student body," said Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. "Seeing how this team galvanized the Georgetown community was inspiring for everybody. It hurts as much for these guys as it does for all of Georgetown that we weren't able to come out with a national championship today."
Despite the loss, the Hoyas made program history with an unprecedented run to the championship, a BIG EAST Blue Division Regular Season Championship, a trip to the BIG EAST Tournament Championship Game and the most wins in program history.
The Hoyas lose five seniors that have built the program into a nationally-known entity including Ian Christianson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Christian Life), Tommy Muller (Altamonte Springs, Fla./Trinity Prep), Jimmy Nealis (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), Andy Riemer (McLean, Va./Georgetown Prep) and John Snyder (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman).
"The players make me better every day in practice and they make the team better," said Muller. "As far as the program, it's night and day since we were freshmen. The whole mentality of our team has changed and that has a lot to do with our leadership of the senior class, the coaching staff and the talent we brought. Every player on our team wants to be a pro and brings that mentality and intensity every day to practice."
Indiana looked strong early getting one-on-one runs, but it was the Blue & Gray that took the first three corners of the game.
Georgetown's first solid look of the game was in the 17th minute as a broken Hoya corner kick was sent back in by sophomore midfielder Tyler Rudy (Olney, Md./Sherwood) which was saved by goalkeeper Luis Soffner who laid out for it.
In the 15th minute, a bad Georgetown giveaway at the top of the box gave Indiana a clean shot at the net, but GU sophomore goalkeeper Tomas Gomez (Webster Groves, Mo./Webster Groves) made the save and the rebound was headed away.
Indiana held more possession in the first forcing the Hoya defense on its heels making the squad work to keep the ball out of the box.
In the 36th minute, a scramble in front of the net gave GU a chance as Riemer's shot was blocked and the rebound went to freshman forward Brandon Allen (Old Bridge, N.J./St. Joseph's) whose shot was saved.
In the 44th minute, freshman midfielder Melvin Snoh (Coatesville, Pa./Malvern Prep) turned and fired, but it went wide as the teams went into the break scoreless.
It was Indiana that took the first two corners of the second half with one being headed over the net.
Junior forward Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa./Council Rock North) came alive in the second with a near miss and that went wide and a hard shot from the top of the box that was blocked.
Georgetown took its first corner of the second half in the 61st minute and began to possess more on offense.
However, it was Indiana that found the back of the net in the 63rd minute. A serve into the box from Patrick Doody went to the far post and was hit across the face by Eriq Zavaleta. His ball was tapped in by Nikita Kotlov as Gomez was forced to come over to put the Hoosiers up, 1-0.
An Indiana yellow card gave Neumann a long free kick served in, but the Hoyas were unable to get a head on it before Soffner could collect and Riemer followed that with a shot off of the crossbar.
With 15 minutes remaining, a series in the box gave Indiana multiple attempts at the goal but all were thwarted as the Hoyas struggled to clear it.
In the 84th minute it was once again the Hoosiers that were knocking on the door, but a huge stop by the defense kept it 1-0.
Georgetown battled into the final minute, when the Hoyas had their best chance of the game on a header from Muller that hit the post as the crowd held its breath for the equalizer.
However, it was not meant to be as the seconds ticked away and GU couldn't find the answer to fall, 1-0.
The Hoyas were outshot, 16-7, but took six corner kicks to IU's two. Gomez tallied seven saves in the net, while Soffner managed two.
A number of Georgetown players were honored postgame for their effort throughout the College Cup. Neumann was named the College Cup's Most Outstanding Offensive Player, while Gomez, Neumann, Muller and Christianson were all named to the All-Tournament Team.
Despite the loss of the five seniors, the Hoyas will have a strong core of players returning including Neumann, Allen, Gomez and four additional starters as well as a highly-touted freshman class.
"I told the players in the locker room that we have the second place trophy," said Wiese. "Today it's one of the sourest things you can look at, but I know that given some time it's going to be something that we really treasure as a great accomplish for the program."