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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soccer Log

PC looking at Ritter, Rust-away
Opposing Hoyas seamless so far

Timothy Ritter, barely the single most prosperous Friar in the wee stages of the 2008 season, has an enhanced historical calling this afternoon as the Georgetown Hoyas drop in on Glay Field to break in the Big East schedule.

The matchup lowdown for this particular forward: as a freshman in 2005, Ritter kneaded four shots on net out of five attempts, including the gamebreaking goal within the fifth minute, and charged up a helper on Eoin Lynch’s clinching goal towards a 3-2 Providence triumph in Washington.

The following year saw him scoop up another four SOG on a rabid six attempts, and yet another goal-assist value pack, this time charging up the game winner in a 4-0 decision here.

Was it mere coincidence, then, that PC absorbed a fairly critical 2-0 drawback at the hands of the Hoyas last autumn, during which Ritter was confined to the sideline? Well, on a literal and logical front, it was. Nonetheless, there’s every cause for Ritter –currently leading the 2-0-1 Friars across the board with four points, nine attempts, and four tangible shots- to rekindle his curious Hoya Destroyah fetish.

Start with the inevitable statistical implications, no matter how trivial and misleading they may prove come the November stretch drive. On Tuesday, both PC and Georgetown (5-0 so far) broke into Soccer America’s Top 25 national leaderboard, assigned to the #25 and #23 slots respectively. The following afternoon, the Hoyas only thickened their early impression through a 1-0 tip-over of Stony Brook.

Georgetown’s baby-faced goalkeeping guild, evenly splitting its workload between sophomore Matthew Brutto and redshirt freshman Mark Wilber, has yet to allow a single goal on a cumulative 22 SOG in its first five outings. The game-by-game rotating pattern implicitly has Wilber starting Saturday’s tussle at Glay Field, although –for what it’s worth- Brutto already has something of a comfortable history against Providence.

Last season, Brutto had to push away a mere three Friar kicks en route to the aforementioned 2-0 shutout, one of three eggs for him in his rookie year. He has already doubled that mark in three 2008 ventures.

Regardless, Ritter and his mates have been a tad slower to thaw out with their game schedule, albeit owing in part to a sprinkling of unmanageable schedule changes. In a perfect world, they would have scooped up two game experiences within the last week, namely Saturday at Holy Cross and Tuesday here with URI, as opposed to an earlier-than-expected venture to Worcester and a potentially rusting off day this week.

Add to those seeming conditioning concerns the fact that, in their 1-1 draw late last week, the Friars mustered only one shot at the Crusaders in the first overtime frame while authorizing three in the second, which amounted to a final tally of 15-5, Holy Cross. But like most every other aspect to the Friars’ –and the Hoyas’- game, today should unveil little beyond a first Big East measure-up morsel.

Free Kicks: Leading up to their arrival here, Georgetown’s only other road trip thus far has been a two-game, three-night (August 29-31) stay in Los Angeles, where they bumped Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton for the Northridge invitational crown…Corey Zeller, the sole goal-getter in last year’s Friar-Hoya get-together, is tied for fourth with four teammates on the Georgetown scoring charts with a 1-1-3 transcript. Fourteen out twenty-one Georgetown positional players have at least one point to their credit, and the team boasts an aggregate log of 13-12-38…Barring a successful make-up for Tuesday’s no-show with the Rams, PC will have but three further interleague engagements, two of them in the Hub –a Monday evening trip to Northeastern and a visit to Harvard October 28- plus an October 15 hosting to Bryant University.

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