Georgetown 2017 Team and Recruiting Class Review

School:  Georgetown 
Conference:  Big East
Coach:  Brian Wiese - 12th Season 
2016 Record: 6-9-2 overall - 3-4-2 in conference
Final Season Ending National Rank:  NA
Key Losses from the 2016 Team: Forward Brett Campbell (4g, 0a), midfielder Bakie Goodman (0g, 1a) and Jon Azzinari due to graduation. Midfielder Arun Basuljevic (2g, 2a) due to early departure to the professional ranks. 

Five Year Win Total:

2012:  19

2013:  14

2014:  14

2015:  16

2016:  6

2016 Goals Scored and Goals Against: 17 scored - 23 allowed 
Key 2016 Statistic: Seventeen total goals scored as compared to thirty-eight in 2015. 

Background:  Georgetown has made seven appearances in the NCAA Tournmanent (1994,1997, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Five of the Hoyas NCAA Tournament berths have come under the direction of head coach Brian Wiese.

Georgetown advanced to the College Cup in 2012 where they topped Maryland in the semifinals in a penalty kick shootout after what many would consider one of the most exciting College Cup contests ever played was tied 4-4 at the end of regularion and overtime. They were then topped 1-0 by Indiana in the 2012 national championship game.

Georgetown has won the regular season Big East title five times with the most recent being the 2015 season in which they were 9-0-0 in conference play. They also claimed the Big East Tournament titel in 2015.

In 2016 the Hoyas were 6-9-2 overall with a 3-4-2 mark in conference play. Midfielder Christopher Lema was a 2016 First Team All-Big East selection. Midfielder Anan Basuljevic was a 2016 All-Big East Second Team member. Defender Dylan Nealis was named to the 2016 Big East All-Freshman Team. 

Number Starters Returning in 2017:  Eight 

Offense: The Hoyas only managed a total of seventeen goals in 2016. A significant drop in productivity for a team that averaged over thirty-seven goals per season for the prior four years.

Georgetown clearly has some refurbishing to do on the offensive side of the ball heading into the 2017 season.   

The task of increasing the output on the offensive side of the ball is not made any easier due to the fact that the Hoyas enter the 2017 campaign without the services of forward Brett Campbell (4g, 0a) and midfielders Jon Azzinnari (4g, 0a) and Arun Basuljevic (2g, 2a) who were their top three goals scorers in 2016. The Hoyas will also be without midfielder Bakie Goodman (0g, 1a) who started seventy-once contests during his four year tenure and contirbuted seven goals and sixteen assists.

No returning player scored more than a single goal last year which makes offensive productivity a key unanswered question heading into the 2017 campaign. Chances are pretty good that the solution is going to require a collective effort and is not something that can be accomplished by a single player.

Senior Zach Knudson (1g, 3a) and sophomore Achara (1g, 0a) look to be among returning forwards who will be counted upon to provide much needed punch to the attack. Sophomore forward Davey Mason (0g, 2a) who appeared in ten games last years could also be in the mix up-top.

Senior captain Christopher Lima (1g, 5a) who was a 2016 All-Big East First Team selection and starter for the past two seasons looks to be the guy who will set the pace in the midfield. Senior Matt Ledder (0g, 2a) who played in sixteen contests last year with nine starts should also play a key role in the midfield in 2017. Senior Dedan McCabe and junior Ethan Locher are among other returning linkmen who look to be in the hunt for a greater role in 2017.

Forwards Jack Beer out of the New York Soccer Club and Derek Dodson who played for Sockers FC are among the newcomers who have the potential to add additonal firepower to the offense. Foster McCune who honed is skilss with the Bethesda SC is among the newcomers who could push for minutes in the midfield. 

Defense: A solid group of experienced backs return which is a good sign. Juniors Brendan McDonough (1g, 1a),  Peter Schropp (1g, 0a) and Kyle Zajec (0g, 1a) and sophomore Dylan Nealis (1g, 0a) who were starters last year are all very capable defenders. Sophomores Mason Deeds who played in nine contests last year and Riley Strassner who appeared in two contests are among other returning backs who will seek to assume a greater role in 2017.

Junior JT Marcinkowski, who has been the starter in goal for the past two years, returns between the pipes. He is among the most talented and battle tested goalkeepers in the country. Marcinkowski recorded nine shutouts in 2015 and was an All-Big East First Team selection as well as Big East Freshman of the Year. In 2016 he posted four shutouts. He was recently named to the U.S. U-20 National Team and his resume includes twhenty-six caps as a member of the U-14 through U-20 national teams. 

Five of Georgetown's nine losses last year were 1-0 games and three of their six wins were by a 1-0 margin. For the most part, the Hoyas played solid team defense in 2016.. However there is room for improvement on the defensive side of the ball as reflected in their 4-2 loss to Butler and 3-0 loss to Creighton last year.    

Newcomers:

Coach Wiese stated, "We are extremely happy with this recruiting class. It's a bigger-than-normal class for us but more importantly, it's the quality of it that has us excited. Wiese added, "This group has the potential for being the backbone of Georgetwon soccer over the next four years."   

Jack Beer - Forward - Thormwood, New York - NSCAA All-American. Journal New Westchester/Putnam 2016 Player of the Year. Scored a total of thirty-one goals in two seasons in high school. Ranked by College Soccer News at the number 104 player in the class of 2016. Played for the New York Soccer Club. 

Witt Conger - Forward - Raleigh, North Carolina - Four-year starter and two-year captain with the CASL Railhawks Academy. Scored twenty-three goals in his one season of play in high school. 

Derek Dodson - Forward - Aurora, Illinois - Three-year starter and one season captain for the Sockers FC. Among the top ten goal scores in the Development Academy for three season. 

Rio Hope-Gund - Midfielder - New York, New York - A four-year starter and three-time all-league selection in high school. Four-year starter and three-year captain with the New York Soccer Club. 

Ethan Koehler - Goalkeeper - Maplewood, New Jersey- Four-year starter with PDA. Played with the U.S. U-14 National Team.

Chris Le - Midfielder - Dallastown, Pennsylvania - Four-year starter and team captain with PA Classics.

Foster McCune - Midfielder - Bethesda, Maryland - Four-year starter with Bethesda SC. Ranked by College Soccer News as the number ninty-six player in the class of 2016.

Jacob Montes - Midfielder - Beaverton, Oregon - Three-year starter in high school. Palm Beach Post Player of the Year. Sun Sentinal Player of the Year as a junior. Played club with FC Florida 98 before joining the Portland Timbers Academy.

Sean O'Hearn - Defender - Mountville, Pennsylvania - Four-year starter and two-year team captain with the PA Classics. Played with the U.S. U-19 National Team. Ranked by College Soccer News as the number ninty-two player in the class of 2016.

Jimmy Coyle - Goalkeeper - New Hope, Pennsylvania - Transfer from Elon where he appeared in one contest. Posted seventeen shutouts at the Berkshire School. 

Progonosis for 2017: This time last year Georgetown had as many key gaps to plug due to graduation and early departures to enter the professional ranks as any program in the country.  The impact of that showed up in their 6-9-2 overall record and 3-4-2 mark in Big East Conference play.

The Hoyas will enter the 2017 season with the normal voids to fill due to graduation and midfielder Arun Basuljevic the lone early departure for the professional ranks. Nonetheless, some rebuilding is still required but significantly less than in 2016.

Georgetown looks to be stronger in 2017 and it is highly likely that under the direction of Brian Wiese they will reload, fully rebound, and once again be a frontrunner in the Big East as well as on the national scene. However, how long it takes for that to occur remains to be seen. It is likely that it will take another season or two before the Hoyas begin to regain the level of talent and experience that propelled the program to prominence.

The absence of a big time playmaker and goal scorer in 2016 like a Brandon Allen who found the back of the net fifty times from 2012 through 2015 or a Steve Neumann who scored a total of thirty-eight goals from 2010 through 2013 clearly impacted Georgetown's productivity on the offensive side of the ball. 

The Hoyas only managed a total of seventeen goals in 2016 which no matter how you spin it is way below their normal productivity in that aspect of the game. The potential exists for a repeat of that in 2017 if a playmaker or two does not emerge to power the offense. As a result the primary challenge facing Georgetown in 2017 looks to be significantly improving their productivity on the offensive side of the ball.

Senior Zach Knudson (1g, 2a) and sophomore Achara (1g, 0a) look to be the most likely candidates to accomplish that up-top.  Wiese will also welcome a recruiting class that includes several newcomers who could step into a starting spot and make an immediate contribution. Just how much help the freshman can provide remains to be seen.  

The departure of Bakie Goodman (0g, 1a), Arun Basuljevic (2g, 2a) and Jon Azzinari (4g, 0a) also creates a void that must be filled in the midfield that raises another question mark. Senior captain Christopher Lema (1g, 5a) looks to be the key returning midfielder.

On the plus side, the backline and the play in goal look to be team strengths with a solid group of experienced defenders returning along with junior JT Marcinkowski between the pipes.

Brain Wiese has developed a program at Georgetown that is used to winning conference titles, going to the NCAA Tournament, and prominece on the national scene. The Hoyas are not lacking a winning culture.

The bottom line is that Georgetown will be a more competitive team in 2017 but whether or not they can collectively push their game up another level will be a major factor in how much improvement they enjoy in the win column. .                 .