Hoyas Dominance - Can Georgetown Win It All? - By Dela Agbotse

It was a weekend packed with late drama in the ever-unpredictable Big East Conference but, if there is one thing you can count on this season, it is that Georgetown will outclass their opponents.  The Hoyas won their sixth game in a row on Saturday to improve to 13-1-1 overall with a 6-0-1 mark in conference play to extend their lead at the top of the table in Big East play to three points. 

Georgetown is dominating the highly competitive Big East Conference at the moment and has been all season. As it stands, they have sole possession of first place in the Big East after seven games with nineteen points with a three-point lead over second place St. John’s and a seven-point lead over third place Providence.  

Georgetown finished in second place in 2018 in the Big East Conference with an overall record of 13-5-3 and 6-2-1 in conference play.  After concluding the season last year with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Michigan State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, the Hoyas have been firing on all cylinders in 2019.  

This season, the Hoyas are looking to better their record from last year. It’s been an incredible season so far but the Hoyas still have a lot to play for, it is not enough to just dominate the Big East. The ultimate prize will be lifting the trophy in the College Cup come December 15th at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina and the Hoyas are equipped to do just that.

When the season started, Georgetown was the top choice to finish atop the Big East Conference because of the depth, versatility and experience of their squad highlighted by junior forward Derek Dodson (6g, 6a) who was voted the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, senior defender Dylan Nealis who was named Defensive Player of the Year, and senior forward Achara (4g, 3a).  

With a good mix of veteran players, transfers, and freshmen, and the emergence of junior midfielder Jacob Montes (7g, 1a) as an additional threat on the offensive side of the ball, Brian Wiese and his coaching staff have put together a solid squad built to play late into December.  A 3-0 win away from home on October 23 over a St. John’s team that was previously unbeaten in conference play signaled exactly how dominant Georgetown has been all season.

The Hoyas are known for being an attack minded team with explosive forwards in Dodson and Acara. However, the most impressive part about this team so far this year has been their defensive capabilities.  A tenacious Hoyas defense led by back Dylan Nealis and the goalkeeper duo of sophomore Giannis Nikopolidis and freshman Tomas Romero has allowed a total of only five goals in fourteen games.

Nealis has been the face and the anchor of the Hoyas impenetrable defense in 2019. The reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year has been a big part of a defense that has only allowed an impressive 0.33 goals per game so far this season. The Hermann Trophy watch list player has two goals on the season from defense and has been brilliant at bringing the dangerous Hoyas attacker into play, picking up for assists in the process.  

Georgetown looks to be on track to win the Big East Championship. They are playing with a confidence that indicates head coach Brian Wiese and his team have their sights set on the big prize come December 15.  But there is a lot of soccer left to be played between now and then.

Georgetown has regular season contests remaining against Big East foes Villanova on the road on Saturday and Creighton at home the following Wednesday followed by the Big East Tournament which gets underway on Wednesday November 13.  Then comes the NCAA Tournament, and as Georgetown found out last year, the road to the College Cup is not an easy one.

To achieve their goal this year the Hoyas will need to carry their current form into the postseason. It will be interesting to see if other coaches can figure out a way to break Georgetown down and stop them from tearing through the Big East Conference Tournament and the NCAA Tournament.  

It is not going to be easy, but right now Georgetown looks to have all the ingredients needed to win it all.  

Dela Agbotse is a contributing writer for College Soccer News. 

College Soccer News' Bracketologist Issues Initial Predictions of the 2019 NCAA Tournament Field

October 28, 2019 - College Soccer News' veteran bracketologist has utilized the informaiton currently available to predict the forty-eight teams in the 2019 NCAA Tournament field, the sixteen seeds, and the match-ups. The predictions are based on the most recent RPI issued and a projection of the twenty-four conference champions who will earn an automatic berth. The analysis uses the same criteria the selection committee wil utilize which includes win-loss records, geography, recent team play, quality wins, and the head-to-head match-ups that have taken place to date.

The bracketologist will update his projections as additional informaiton becomes available. The projections will be impacted by changes in the RPI. 

Conference champions and the automatic berths that go with them will not be known until conference touranments have been completed or regular season play has ended in those cases where conference tournaments are not held. The predictions of conference champions reflect current standings and do not take into account expected furture results.

The predictions do not reflect any national polls nor are they an attempt to gague who the best teams are. The selections predict what the NCAA Tournament field would be if the committee were to make their selections today.

The 2019 NCAA Tournament field, the seeds, and the brackets will be announced on Monday, November 18, 2019. First Round play will get underway on November 21 at campus sites throughout the country. 



#1 Georgetown Region

First Round:  Appalachian State (Sun Belt Conference Automatic) at North Carolina State (Atlantic Coast Conference #9)

Second Round:  Winner at #1 seed Georgetown (Big East Conference Automatic) 

First Round:  Yale (Ivy League Automatic) at Boston College (Atlantic Coast Conference #8)

Second Round:  Winer at #16 seed New Hampshire (America East Conference Automatic) 

First Round:  Akron (Mid-American Conference Automatic) at Notre Dame (Atlantic Coast Conference #6) 

Second Round: Winner at #8 seed SMU (American Athletic Conference #2) 

First Round:  Furman (Southern Conference Automatic) at Kentucky (Conference USA #2)

Second Round:  Winner at #9 seed Virginia Tech (Atlantic Coast Conference #4) 



#2 Virginia Region

First Round:  Saint Peters (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Automatic) at Maryland (Big Ten #3)

Second Round:  Winner at #2 seed Virginia (Atlantic Coast Conference Automatic)

First Round:  UNC Wilmington (Colonial Athletic Association Automatic) at Saint Louis (Atlantic 10 Conference Automatic) 

Second Round:  Winner at #15 seed Louisville (Atlantic Coast Conference #5) 

First Round:  Oral Roberts (Summit League Automatic) at Central Arkansas (Sun Belt Conference #2)

Second Round:  Winner at #7 seed Clemson (Atlantic Coast Conference #3)

First Round:  UIC (Horizon League Automatic) at Butler (Big East Conference #3)

Second Round:  Winner at #10 seed Indiana (Big Ten Automatic)



#3 St. John's Region

First Round:  NJIT (Atlantic Sun Automatic) at Syracuse (Atlantic Coast Conference #7)

Second Round:  Winner at #3 seed St. John's (Big East #2)  

First Round:  Seattle (Western Athletic Conference Automatic) at UC Davis (Big West Conference Automatic)

Second Round:  Winner at #14 seed Saint Mary's (West Coast Conference Automatic)

First Round:  High Point University (Big South Conference Automatic) at Charlotte (Conference USA #3)

Second Round:  Winner at #6 seed Wake Forest (Atlantic Coast Conference #2) 

First Round:  Loyola Marymount University (West Coast Conference #2) at UC Santa Barbara (Big West Conference #2)

Second Round:  Winner at #11 seed Stanford (Pac-12 Conference #2)



#4 UCF Region 

First Round:  Lehigh (Patriot League Automatic) at FIU (Conference USA Automatic) 

Second Round:  Winner at #4 seed UCF (American Athletic Conferene Automatic)

First Round:  James Madison (Colonial Athletic Association #2) at Memphis (American Athletic Conference #3)

Second Round:  Winner at #13 seed Missouri State (Missouri Valley Conference Automatic)

First Round:  San Diego (West Coast Conference #3) at UC Irvine (Big West Conference #3)

Second Round:  Winner at #5 seed Washington (Pac-12 Automatic)

First Round:  St. Francis University (Norheast Conference Automatic) at Pittsburgh (Atlantic Coast Conference #10)

Second Round:  Winner at #12 seed Penn State (Big Ten Conference #2)


Last Four At-Large Selections 

San Diego
James Madison
Loyola Marymount University

Last Five Out

Loyola Chicago 

Conference Breakdown 

America East 1
American Athletic 3
Atlantic Coast  10
Atlantic Sun 1
Atlantic 10 1
Big East  3
Big South 1
Big Ten 3
Big West 3
Colonial Athletic   2
Conference USA 3
Horizon League 1
Ivy League 1
Metro Atlantic  1
Mid-American 1
Missouri Valley 1
Northeast  1
Pacific 12 2
Patriot League 1
Southern  1
Summit League 1
Sun Belt 2
Western Athletic 1
West Coast  3
Total  48



Friday Night Lights - College Soccer Coast To Coast - October 25, 2019

It is gut check time as teams head down the home stretch seeking to peak at the right time with conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament right around the corner.

Virginia 2 - Virginia Tech 0 - The Cavaliers continue to combine stout play on the defensive side of the ball with an opportunistic attack to secure an impressive on the road win over the Hokies in ACC play. Junior forward Nathaniel Crofts scored what proved to be the game-winner in the thirty-third minute of play when he sent a bending ball into the top right corner of the goal after receiving a cross from sophomore forward Daryl Dike.  Dike sent a one-timer into the back of the frame in the fifty-seventh minute after receiving a through ball from Crofts to give Virginia a 2-0 advantage.  Redshirt junior Colin Shutler had five saves in goal for the Cavaliers to record his twelfth shutout of the year.  Mathijs Swaneveld had two saves between the pipes for Virginia Tech. 

Virginia improves to 13-1-1 with a 5-1-1 mark in conference play.  Virginia Tech falls to 7-4-2 with a 1-4-2 mark in conference play.  

Clemson 3 - Boston College 1 - Clemson's high powered offense was in gear once again on senior night at Historic Riggs Field.  The Tigers have found the back of the net a total of fifty-seven times so far this year while allowing a total of only fifteen goals.  Midfielder Robbie Robinson (14g, 8a) scored from ten yards out in the thirty-second minute to give Clemson a 1-0 advantage which they maintained at intermission.  Senior midfielder Tanner Dieterich scored from eleven yards out two minutes into the second half with an assist from Phillip Mayaka to make it a 2-0 contest.  Redshirt freshman forward James Brighton added the third Clemson goal in the sixty-seventh minute with Grayson Barber contributing the helper.  Boston College got on the board in the seventy-eighth minute when Joe Kellett converted a penalty kick.  George Marks had two saves in goal for the Tigers. Giacomo Piccardo and Christian Garner combined for six saves in goal for the Eagles.

Clemson improves to 13-1-1 with a 5-1-1 mark in ACC play while Boston College is now 7-4-3 overall with a 1-4-2 mark in conference play.

Indiana 3 - Rutgers 0 - Indiana's starting lineup included seven freshmen.  The game was scoreless at halftime but the Hoosiers opened it up in the second stanza with goals from senior midfielder Joris Ahlinvi in the fifty-fourth minute, redshirt sophomore midfielder Joe Schmidt in the seventy-second and freshman midfielder Aidan Morris in the seventy-ninth.  Ahlinvi scored from twelve yards out after receiving a long ball out of a free kick put in play by Morris. Schmidt scored after he made a nice move off the dribble to create the space he needed to drive a shot into the back of the frame from twenty yards out after receiving a through ball from Morris.  Morris added the final goal of the evening when he alertly sent the rebound of Thomas Warr's shot back into the net.  Freshman Roman Celentano had a single save in goal to notch the shutout for Indiana.  Freshman Oren Asher had five saves in goal in a losing cause for Rutgers.

Rutgers head coach Jim McElderry stated, "For seventy minutes, we executed our plan well tonight, but the game shifted when they scored their first goal on a set piece, which is disappointing."

Indiana is 10-2-3 with a 5-1-0 mark in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers are undefeated in thirty-five consecutive home contests.  Rutgers is 7-5-3 overall with a 1-5-1 mark against Big Ten opponents.

Maryland 2 - Ohio State 0 - This Big Ten match took place in Columbus.  Maryland got the best of the run of play for most of the match to secure a good on the road win.  Ohio State created several scoring opportunities in the early going but was unable to finish.  Sophomore forward Justin Gielen scored in the thirty-sixth minute after receiving a cross from senior midfielder Eli Crognale to take a 1-0 advantage into intermission.  Freshman midfielder Malcoom Johnston added the second goal from close range in the eighty-fifth minute after receiving a touch pass from Eric Matzelevich.  Niklas Neumann and Russell Shealy combined in goal to notch the shutout for Maryland. Parker Siegfried had four saves between the pipes for Ohio State.

Maryland mentor Sasho Cirovski stated, "I'm very pleased with our performance today. Our goal was to come on the road and get a result against a good team and it was mission accomplished. I was happy with our commitment on the defensive side of the ball and our good balance of possession and penetration."

Maryland wins its third consecutive match to improve to 9-4-2 with a 3-1-2 record in Big Ten play. A competitive Ohio State team is 6-8-1 with a 1-4-1 mark in conference play.

Louisville 1 - North Carolina 0 - Louisville's up and down season continues with an up as a result of a 1-0 win on the road over a good North Carolina team.  The Cardinals came into the contest off a 2-1 loss at home to Temple.  Sophomore forward Haji Abdikadir scored the lone goal of the evening in the thirty-fifth minute when he sent a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal from the top of the box after recovering the rebound of teammate Kino Ryosuke's shot.  Jake Gelnovatch had two saves in goal to secure the shutout for Louisville.  Alec Smir had two saves in goal for North Carolina.  This one could have gone either way but at the end of the day it came down to the fact that Louisville was able to finish a scoring opportunity while North Carolina was not.

Louisville improves to 8-5-2 overall with a 3-3-1 mark in ACC play. The Tar Heels are 7-5-2 overall with a 3-4-0 record in conference play.

Penn State 4 - Appalachian State 0 - A competitive and steadily improving Appalachian State team traveled to University Park hoping to secure a resume building win over Penn State out of the Big Ten but that was not to be the case. Freshman forward Liam Butts scored in the thirty-fourth minute to give the Nittany Lions a 1-0 advantage that they carried into halftime.  Penn State opened things up in the second half with forward Joshua Dabora, midfielder Aaron Molloy and midfielder Daniel Gonzalez contributing a goal each.

Kris Shakes recorded the shutout in goal for Penn State.  Redshirt freshman Jacob Madden had four saves in goal for Appalachian State.

Penn State head coach Jeff Cook stated, "It was an excellent result against Appalachian State that came in here with a great record and are competing for a place in the NCAA Tournament. So I thought the way we approached the game was very satisfying. We got some great goals tonight and I couldn't be prouder with the way we played."   

Penn State improves to 9-2-3 and will host Maryland on Tuesday.  Appalachian State is now 9-4-1 and will travel to Chapel Hill on Tuesday to face North Carolina.  

Pittsburgh 4 - Duke 3 - In one of the more improbable comebacks of the year, Pitt comes from three goals down to top Duke in this ACC contest.  It was a huge confidence builder for Pitt and a heartbreaking loss for Duke.  Max Moser, Suniel Veerakone, and Daniel Wright scored as Duke had what appeared to be an insurmountable 3-0 lead over Pitt in the thirty-seventh minute of the contest.  Pitt pulled one back when Edward Kizza scored in the forty-first minute after receiving a pass from Alexander Dexter.  Duke went into halftime with a 3-1 lead. The contest was all Pittsburgh in the second stanza with Velijko Petkovic, Jackson Valti and Alexander Dexter scoring to give the Panthers a huge come from behind win in conference play.  Dexter's game-winner came in the eighty-sixth minute of play when he controlled and sent a rebound into the back of the net.

Arie Ammann had six saves in goal for Pitt. Will Pulisic had three saves in goal for Duke.

Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich stated, "I don't care where you are in a program, but if you come back 3-0 in a match like that, just the belief factor that can bring to you, to not quit and to find a way to keep pushing and discover a way to find a goal and to keep yourself in it is one of the biggest things."

Pitt improves to 8-5-2 with a 4-2-1 mark in ACC play that includes wins over Boston College, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Duke.  Duke drops to 6-7-2 with a 2-4-1 record in conference play.

Michigan 1 - Wisconsin 1 (ot) - Defense ruled in this Big Ten battle.  Michigan got on the scoreboard with an own goal in the seventy-fifth minute.  Senior midfielder Noah Leibold converted a penalty kick two minutes later for Wisconsin to knot the score at 1-1. Andrew Verdi  who had three stops and freshman Owen Finnery split time in goal for Michigan. Dean Cowdroy had four saves in goal for Wisconsin.  Michigan had a seventeen to eight advantage in shots for the evening.

Michigan is 7-4-4 with a 2-1-3 record in Big Ten play. Wisconsin is 2-10-3 with a 0-4-2 mark in conference play.

Northern Illinois 3 - Western Michigan 2 - This MAC contest included several momentum swings.  NIU jumped out to a 2-0 advantage with goals from senior forward Jan Maertins in the twenty-third minute and sophomore defender Anthony Markanich in the twenty-seventh minute. Western Michigan responded with a goal from Antonio Rizzo in the thirty-eighth minute of play to make it 2-1 at halftime.  Western Michigan then tied it at 2-2 with Charlie Sharp contributing the goal. 

Maertins then netted his second goal of the evening for NIU and what proved to be the game-winner from eight yards out in the seventy-sixth minute of play. The game-winning goal was set up by a nice combination of passes from Anthony Markanich and sophomore forward Nick Markanich.  

Redshirt freshman Martin Sanchez had two saves in goal for NIU including a stop of a penalty kick. Isaac Walker and Lukas Von Lienen combined for three saves in goal for Western Michigan.

NIU head coach Ryan Swan stated, "Western Michigan are a fantastic team, so when they brought the game back to 2-2, we were a little nervous. You need players to make big plays in big games, Martin (Sanchez) stepped up huge with the penalty save and Jan (Maertins) finding a winner. It was a big gut check for us, and it was a big step forward for the program."

NIU improves to 7-7-1 with a 2-1-0 mark in MAC competition. Western Michigan falls to 9-5-1 with a 1-1-1 mark in conference play.

UNLV 4 - Kansas City 1 - UNLV started slowly but they  took charge of this WAC contest once their offense got into a rhythm.  Redshirt junior midfielder  Ryan Connor broke the ice for the Rebels when he scored in the forty-third minute to give UNLV a 1-0 advantage at halftime.  Senior midfielder Timo Mehlich then took over the match scoring three times in the second half for UNLV.  Kevin Komodi netted the lone goal for Kansas City.  Lukas Betz had one save between the pipes for UNLV. Filippo Errico had a five save evening in goal for Kansas City.  

UNLV is unbeaten in its last four contests to improve to 5-9-1 with a 3-3-1 mark in WAC play. Kansas City is 4-8-0 with a 3-4-0 mark in WAC play.

Seattle 2 - Air Force 1 - Noe Meza sent a header into the far post with a double assist from Hal Uderitz and Declan McGlynn in the closing minutes of the first half to give Seattle a 1-0 lead.  Hal Uderitz converted a header in the sixty-sixth minute after receiving a well played and timed cross from Burke Fahling to give Seattle a 2-0 advantage.  Quinn Matulis scored three minutes later for Air Force to pull within a single goal but that concluded the scoring for the evening.

Seattle head coach Pete Fewing stated, "It was good to get a win and stay in first (in the WAC standings). We scored two excellent goals that came out of strong buildups.  Air Force is a tough team to play."

Seattle improves to 9-3-3 with a 6-0-1 mark in WAC play.  Air Force is 5-8-0 with a 4-3-0 record against WAC opponents.

Akron 3 - SIUE 0 - Akron came out swinging with Mani Austmann placing a shot into the  top right corner of the goal in the fourth minute of play after receiving a pass from David Egbo to go up 1-0.  Egbo make it 2-0 when he placed a shot into the corner of the frame with an assist from Henrique Cruz in the thirty-seventh minute.  Akron maintained a 2-0 advantage at halftime.  Will Jackson contributed the final score for Akron in the last minute of regulation with Egbo and Pol Hernandez credited with a double assist on the play.  Tor Saunders had two saves in goal for the Zips. Noah Heim had two stops in goal for SIUE.

Akron improves to 4-8-2 with a 2-0-1 record in MAC play. SIUE's seven game unbeaten streak comes to an end as they drop to 8-4-2 with a 2-1-0 mark in conference play.

UTRGV 1 - California Baptist 0 - Senior midfielder Angel Lopez's goal with a little over a minute remaining in regulation gave UTRGV the edge they needed to secure a 1-0 win on the road over CBU. The game-winner came out of a free kick put in play by senior defender Dimitris Stantzalis to senior midfielder Arthur Roger who redirected it to Lopez.  A solid UTRGV defense limited California Baptist to only three shots.  Andy Rios recorded the shutout in goal for UTRGV. Albert Escuin had six saves in goal for CBU.

UTRGV is 8-3-1 with a 4-2-1 mark in WAC play. California Baptist is 4-9-2 with a 3-3-1 mark in the WAC.

Houston Baptist 4 - Grand Canyon 3 (ot) - This back and forth contests featured plenty of scoring. Dominick Faletto scored in the twelfth and twenty-sixth minutes to give Houston Baptist a 2-0 advantage. Bert Wilson scored for Grand Canyon in the thirty-second minute to give Grand Canyon new life.  Houston Baptist was up 2-1 at halftime.  Grand Canyon was awarded a red card in the fifty-sixth minute and played a man down from that point forward.  Faletto converted a penalty kick for Houston Baptist in the fifty-sixth minute to make it a 3-1 game.  Grand Canyon responded with a Justin Rasmussen penalty kick and a goal from freshman forward Cameron Weller to knot the contest at 3-3 and send it into overtime where Faletto converted his second pk and his fourth goal of the evening to secure the win for Houston Baptist.

Houston Baptist improves to 4-9-0 with a 2-5-0 record against WAC opponents.  Grand Canyon drops to 4-5-4 with a 1-3-3 mark in WAC play.