Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #8 Georgetown / #9 Syracuse Regional Breakdown


Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #8 Georgetown / #9 Syracuse Regional Breakdown

Georgetown and Syracuse are likely favorites to meet in the quarterfinals, but the road is far from easy for these two with the likes of Penn State and Old Dominion possibly standing in the way.


#8 Georgetown vs. Old Dominion/St. Francis Brooklyn

Old Dominion and St. Francis both earned automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments. However, ODU’s path to the championship was much more impressive, as the Monarchs defeated two ranked teams in New Mexico and Charlotte. In fact, ODU gave Charlotte – which is seeded No. 10 in the NCAA tournament – its only two losses of the year. This isn’t to say that St. Francis Brooklyn can’t compete with the Monarchs. The Terriers boast a strong defense, which is led by talented goalkeeper Jack Binks, a redshirt junior who hails from England. St. Francis’ European connection doesn’t end there, though. Frenchmen John Makaya and Vincent Bezecourt lead the team with eight goals and six assists, respectively. This is an intriguing match-up and one that should be entertaining to watch.

Georgetown is guided by senior goalkeeper Tomas Gomez and junior forward Brandon Allen, who leads the Hoyas with 10 goals. Keeping opponents off the score sheet is Georgetown’s bread and butter, and they will have to rely on their defense to be successful. Since Allen makes up 40 percent of the Hoyas’s scoring, which ranks 110th in the nation overall, teams will likely target him. Though Allen may prove to be enough against ODU or St. Francis Brooklyn, Georgetown will need contributions from others if they’re going to make a deep run in the tournament.  


#9 Syracuse vs. Penn State/Hartwick

Penn State enters the NCAA tournament having lost five of their last seven games, so to say the Nittany Lions are in poor form would be an understatement. Hartwick, on the other hand, is riding a three-game winning streak. Despite having a losing record overall, the Hawks received an automatic bid by winning the Sun Belt Tournament. Even though these two teams are moving in different directions, it’s difficult to imagine Hartwick defeating a solid Nittany Lion side on the road. Not only will the Hawks have to deal with sophomore forward Connor Maloney, who has a team-leading nine goals for the Penn State, but Hartwick will also have to contend with 2013 Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Wolverton.

Syracuse actually defeated Hartwick 4-1 in a preseason exhibition, but it will be a complete shock if these two sides meet again in the second round. The Orange’s Achilles heel this year has been the Louisville Cardinals, a team they’ve lost both times to, including a semifinals match-up in the ACC tournament. The tournament loss was enough to knock Syracuse all the way down to the No. 9 seed. However, the Orange have one of the top defenses in the country, including goalkeeper Alex Bono, who has yielded only nine goals all season. Coupled with their balanced attack, Syracuse has every opportunity to overcome a good Penn State side (most likely) in the second round.


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