|School – Georgetown|
|Conference – Big East|
|Coach – Brian Wiese (11th Season)|
Background – Under Brian Wiese's direction Georgetown has become a force in the Big East Conference as well as on the national scene. A good case could be made that over the past few seasons Georgetown has grown in promenence in terms of national standing more than any program in the country.
The Hoyas were 16-2-3 overall in 2015 with a 9-0-0 mark in conference play. Georgetown has won the Big East regular season title a total of five times with four of them coming under Brian Wiese. They also have won a spot in the NCAA Tournament a total of eleven times including five out of the past six seasons.
The Hoyas won the Big East Tournament in 2015 for the first time in the history of the program. Georgetown was awarded the number three seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and topped Hofstra 3-0 before being upset by Boston College in the Sweet Sixteen in a contest that was determined by a penalty kick shootout.
In 2012 Georgetown was 19-4-3 overall, was awared the number three seed in the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the National Championship game. In 2013 the Hoyas were 14-5-2 overall, they were awarded the sixth seed in the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. In 2014 the Hoyas were 14-4-5 overall, they were awarded the eighth seed in the NCAA Tournament, and advanced the the Quarterfinals.
Joshua Yaro was named the 2015 Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski was named the Big East Freshman of the Year. Forward Brandon Allen, midfiedler Arun Basuljevic, Yaro and Marcinkowski were All-Big East First Team selections. Forward Alex Muyl, and defenders Keegan Rosenberry, Cole Seiler and Josh Turnley were All-Big East Second Team selections. The Georgetown coaching staff was honored as the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year.
Offense – Key departures include forwards Brandon Allen (12g, 7a) due to graduation and Alex Muyl (6g, 10a) who elected to forgo his senior season to sign a Homegrown Contract with the New York Red Bulls. Allen has been a key ingredient in the Hoya offense since arriving on campus as a freshman in 2012. An elite goal scorer, he had fifty career goals making him the all-time goal leader in Georgetown program history. Allen was one of the three finalists for the 2015 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy and and named an All-American for three consecutive seasons by the NSCAA and College Soccer News. Muyl was the Hoyas second-leading goal scorer in 2015 and completed a stellar three year career at Georgetown with twelve goals and twenty-five assists. He ended his tenure at Georgetown ranked eighth in program history in career assists.
Senior forward Brett Campbell (4g, 3a) is among returning players who will be counted upon to provide offensive firepower up-top. Seniors Bakie Goodman (2g, 3a) and Christopher Lema (0g, 1a) and junior Arun Basuljevic (6g, 4a) are among returning midfielders who were starters last year. Juniors Matthew Ledder (1g, 4a), DeClan McCabe (1g, 0a), sophomore Brendan McDonough, and senior Jon Azzinnari are among other returning players who should figure in the offense.
Highly regarded forward Ifunanyachi Achara out of the Chicago Magic PSG will likely face a learning curve but he appears to have the athleticism and technical ability to contribute to the attack right away.
Defense – Major rebuilding is required due to the departure of starting backs Joshua Yaro, Josh Turnley, Keegan Rosenberry, and Cole Seiler.
Despite the departures, a capable but relatively inexperienced group of backs return. Sophomores Peter Schropp and Kyle Zajec are among returning players who will liekly contend for the vacant outside starting back positions. Both saw limited action last year. Sophomore Brendan McDonough who played in nine contests last year with three starts and senior P.J. Koscher who appeared in five matches with one start are among returning players who look to be in the mix at center back. Freshmen Dylan Nealis, Mason Deeds and Riley Strassner are members of the recruiting class who should challenge for minutes and possibly a starting role in the back.
The return of sophomore goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, who was a 2015 All-Big East First Team selection and the Big East Freshman of the Year, is a big plus on the defensive side of the ball. Marcinkowski recorded nine shutouts in 2015 and finished the season with a very impressive 0.69 goals against average.
Newcomers – Four Star Recruiting Class
Coach Wiese stated, "With six of our players from the 2015 team leaving for MLS careers, we have a loto of holes to fillin the lineup for next year. A lot of these players will have opportunities to contribute early in their careers."
Ifunanyachi Achara – Forward -Sheffield, Massachusetts – Played for the Chicago Magic PSG. Ranked as the number 96 player in the class of 2016 by College Soccer News. Selected to the Best 11 at the U-17 National Championship. A creative playmaker.
Jorge Burke – Midfielder – Austin, Texas – McNeil High School – Played with the Georgetown Force and one year for Shattuck St. Mary's. Captain Region Three ODP team for three seasons.
Mason Deeds – Defender – Topton, Pennsylvania – Brandywine Hights High School – Played for Red Bulls Academy. Named to the All-East Conference Best XI. Trained with Red Bulls Salzburg. Solid center back.
JB Fischer – Midfielder – Fourqueux, France – Played for Paris Saint Germain FC for six seasons. Team captain.
David Mason – Forward – Bethesda, Maryland – Walt Whitman High School – Played for Bethesda-Olney. First-Team All-State. Washington Post First Team All-Met.
Dylan Nealis – Midfielder – Massapequa, New York – Massapequa High School – Played for BW Gottschee. Great athlete who can add an additional dimension to the attack. Soccer savvy player. Brother Jimmy was a defender at Georgetown.
Riley Strassner – Defender – Avon, Connecticut – Avon High School – Played for Oakwood Soccer Club. Had fifty-eight career goals and 41 assists during three years of high school soccer. Played with Region I ODP Team. Versitle player with great work rate and athletic ability.
Prognosis for 2016 – Any objective analysis of Georgetown heading into the 2016 season has to begin by referencing who will not be back.
The Hoyas are going through a changing of the guard so to speak. The talent that must be replaced is refected in the fact that six members of the 2015 team moved into the MLS ranks and that three were selected in the first round of the MLS draft. Defender Joshua Yaro was the number two pick, defender Keegan Rosenberry was the number three pick, defender Cole Seiler was the number sixteen overall pick and defender Josh Turnley was the first pick of the third round of the draft. In additon highly regarded forwards Brandon Allen and Alex Muyl signed Homegrown Contracts with the New York Red Bulls.
The two early departures on top of the loss of what has to be considered among the top senior classes in the country means that Georgetown will enter the 2016 with more than the usual number of unanswered questions. Had Yaro and Muyl returned the outlook would be considerably different.
The bottom line is that the Hoyas are clearly in reloading mode but the cupboard is far from bare. They will experience a learning curve – the length and success of which will have a big impact on their productivity on both sides of the ball in 2016.
Seniors Brett Campbell and Bakie Goodman and juniors Arun Basuljevic, and Christopher Lema are among those who will have to help plug the gaps that exist on the offensive side of the ball and set the pace for the team. The Hoyas will need consistency and production from them.
Junior Matthew Ledder who appeared in nineteen contests last year and newcomer Ifunanyachi Achara are among the players who could emerge to help fill the void in the attack.
The midfield looks to be a team strengh with a solid core of returning players.
The backline is the biggest question mark due to the fact that there will be a lot of new faces on the pitch. Sophomore Brendan McDonough who filled in for Joshua Yaro when he was injured last year could be the key in the back.
The return of JT Marcinkowski in goal with a year of experience under his belt is a positive. However he will not have the luxary that he did last year of having a very experienced backline in front of him.
The team that will take the pitch for Georgetown in 2016 will not resemble the team that took to the pitch in 2015. The Hoyas could still emerge as a power in 2016 but a lot of things will have to occur just right in order for that to happen. However a solid finish in Big East play and a return to the NCAA Tournament are within reach.