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Georgetown hosts San Diego in NCAA Elite Eight on Saturday

The third-seeded Georgetown University men’s soccer team will host the University of San Diego Toreros on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight at 1 p.m., at North Kehoe Field. The Hoyas received the third overall seed in the tournament of 48 where the top 16 teams are seeded and receive a first-round bye.  The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the College Cup in Hoover, Ala.

Last Sunday, the Blue & Gray tied the Syracuse University Orange, 1-1, with GU freshman forward Brandon Allen (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) scoring the tying goal in the 85th minute.  The game remained deadlocked through regulation and two overtime periods resulting in the tie.  Penalty kicks were taken to decide who advances with Georgetown coming out ahead 4-2.  GU made all four attempts and sophomore goalkeeper Tomas Gomez (Webster Groves, Mo./Webster Groves) came up with a big save.

Georgetown defeated UNC Charlotte to move on to the Sweet 16 in the previous contest.  Allen scored the game winner in the 43rd minute to send the program to the Sweet 16. Both teams managed eight shots for the afternoon and GU took five corner kicks to the 49ers four. Gomez took the win in the net with two saves.

The Hoyas are 18-3-2 on the season winning the BIG EAST Blue Division for the second time in three years and making it to the BIG EAST Championship where the Hoyas fell to Notre Dame in double overtime, 3-2. Along the way, the Hoyas posted seven-game and 11-game unbeaten streaks and have tied the program record of 18 victories in 1994.

The Hoyas have received a number of accolades this season with Allen earning BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and a spot on the All-BIG EAST Second Team. Senior midfielder Ian Christianson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Christian Life) and junior forward Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa./Council Rock North) were both named First Team All-BIG EAST, while Allen was joined by senior defender Jimmy Nealis (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) and Gomez. Rounding out the All-BIG EAST Third Team was senior defender Tommy Muller (Altamonte Springs, Fla./Trinity Prep).

This is Georgetown’s NCAA Tournament berth is the second under Georgetown Head Coach Brian Wiese. The Hoyas have been to the tournament on three previous occasions. Most recently, Georgetown won its first round game in 2010 and tied at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, but failed to advance on penalty kicks.

This is the first time the squad moved beyond the second round of the tournament with previous appearances in 1997 and 1994. Georgetown’s last trip to the Sweet 16 was in 1997 in a field of 32, the squad has never been to the Elite Eight. The Hoyas are 3-2-2 overall in the NCAA Tournament.

Leading the way for Hoyas is Allen who has 32 points with 15 goals including 10 game winners as well as two assists. His 10 game winners lead the nation.  Neumann has 26 points with seven goals and a team and conference-high 12 assists, while senior forward Andy Riemer (McLean, Va./Georgetown Prep) rounds out the top three with eight goals and one assist for 17 points.

In the net, Gomez has appeared in 17 games with 60 saves and seven shutouts to his credit.

San Diego is playing the Cinderella so far this tournament as the unseeded Toreros have posted three NCAA victories on the road and coming from behind.  It was a tale of two halves as USD battled back to the Elite Eight with a 2-1 win over 11th-seeded Tulsa at Hurricane Stadium on Sunday evening. Sophomore midfielder Connor Brandt notched the game-winner to lead the Toreros (14-8-0) to their first Elite Eight appearance since 1992, while senior midfielder Conor McFadden scored his first goal of the season to tie it.

San Diego defeated Cal State Northridge, 2-1 (2ot), in the first round and UCLA by a score of 5-2 in the second round of the tournament.

Overall, this the 13th trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Toreros under 34th-year head coach Seamus McFadden. The Toreros are 11-11-1 all-time in the tournament with their best finish coming in 1992 when USD lost in the national championship game against Virginia.

This is the first meeting between the teams.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at North Kehoe Field.