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Monarchs Host Defending National Champion Maryland Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: August 23, 2006
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Aug. 23, 2006

NORFOLK, VA--The Old Dominion University Soccer Monarchs open the 2006 season at home against defending NCAA National Champion, and pre-season No. one ranked University Maryland at the ODU Soccer Stadium Friday at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Lady Monarchs - East Carolina match at approximately 8:30.

ODU is pre-season 20th by College Soccer News and 23rd by the coaches NSCAA/adidas poll.

Maryland is coached by Sasho Cirovski who has compiled a 187-88-14 mark in 13 years at UM. He is 213-100-20 overall in 15 years. While Maryland lost Hermann Trophy winner Jason Garey who set the school career record with 60 goals and 140 points, they return forward Robbie Rogers, midfielders A.J. Goldbolt and Stephen King, defender A.J. Delagarza and sophomore goalkeeper Chris Seitz. Maryland is only the eighth team in NCAA history to reach four consecutive Final Fours.

ODU is looking to break the stadium single game attendance record. The current mark of 3,207 in the inaugural match at the stadium on Sept. 12, 1990 was against CAA rival William and Mary. The overall stadium single game record is 3,933 when the USA Olympic team played the Bermuda National team in June of 1992.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for children, senior citizens, faculty staff and military, and $3 for groups of ten or more. Youth league team members who wear their team jerseys will be admitted free of charge.

ODU and Maryland have met 13 times with the Terps leading, 8-4-1. The two Last met in the 2003 NCAA second round with Maryland winning, 2-1.

ODU MEN'S SEASON OUTLOOK Monarchs gunning for a fifth straight NCAA appearance and a CAA title

The Old Dominion men's soccer team, under the guidance of four-time CAA Coach of the Year Alan Dawson, continues to set milestones as the program climbs it's way to national prominence, which is becoming a tradition. Two of the last three seasons ODU has ranked as high as second nationally during the regular season. In each of the last two years the Monarchs have reached the CAA Finals and have been seeded in the top 12 of the NCAA tournament. ODU has also earned an at-large berth to the tournament four straight years.

ODU lost three starters from a year ago which include the leagues Player of the Year and leading scorer All-American Brian Cvilikas, All-CAA goalkeeper John Connelly and All-American defender Trevor McEachron. But the Monarchs return a solid nucleus headed by All-CAA selections Edson Elcock, David Horst and CAA Rookie of the Year Trevor Banks, and CAA All-Rookie team selection Yomby William.

"We were disappointed that we didn't win the CAA Championship, and that will be a goal of ours and hopefully again advance to the NCAA's and go deeper into the tournament." said Dawson. "

MIDFIELDERS The entire group returns led by Gregg Mottinger, Ross Mackenzie in the middle and Jared Kent and Edson Elcock on the outside. The Monarchs will be looking to Justin Monroe, Bobby Foglesong and Aaron Good to add to the depth. "There is a lot of experience here," said Dawson. "We are very competitive, strong versatile and explosive." Newcomers- "Nane Joseph is 6-4, and a very smart player on the ball, adds Dawson. " He brings a physical presence to the position. Dylan Montambo, a region I player, is very versatile and should make an immediate impact for us. Alex Silver has a lot of versatility and could be a wide player for us as a freshman. Zach Waters, a sophomore transfer should push for time as well."

DEFENDERS Another strong nucleus is returning, anchored by All-CAA defender David Horst. Yomby William, an All-CAA Rookie team selection, is back after missing the second half of the season with an injury.

"We think David Horst will be a force this season," said Dawson. "Yomby is back. He and David played together in the PDL this summer. Both are strong, quick and big in stature."

ODU will have A.J. Kulp on the left side, while the right side will be a question mark with the possibility of CAA Rookie of the Year Trevor Banks moving to that spot.

GOALKEEPERS "We are unproven and inexperienced in the college game thus far," said Dawson, but very talented."

"Evan Newton - Worked with us in the spring. He has good pedigree, but needs significant games at the collegiate level. Newton is a member of the US under 20-squad. Sean Sigrist is a big kid and is expected to push and compete for the position," notes Dawson."

FORWARDS "We expect a lot of competition for these positions. We have no real set line-up yet, " said Dawson.

Top returnees include Pambos Demetriades who missed last season with an injury, Justin Vaughter and redshirt freshman Jason Loizou. They developed well in the spring and should help. There is a possibility that Edson Elcock and Ross Mackenzie could play some here. The Monarchs will also have three incoming players who could make an immediate impact.

Ambane Emmanuel is very strong and has a physical presence. How he adjusts to the collegiate game is key. Should be a major impact player. Steffen Sommerstadt. Has A very good presence in front of the goal.

"He has a nose for the goal", says Dawson. Zach Kinney is a senior transfer. Very good physical presence around the goal. How will he adjust to what we do, is the only question," said Dawson.

SCHEDULE AND OUTLOOK

The Monarchs will play another solid national schedule, and you can't get any better than opening at home against the defending national champion, the University of Maryland on Aug. 25th.

ODU will play in the University of Rhode Island tournament, Sept. 1-3 against Harvard and the Atlantic 10 champion Rhode Island. This year's Stihl Soccer Classic will have Loyola and Southern Conference power UNC Greensboro coached by Michael Parker who was Alan Dawson's head coach in college (Lock Haven).

The Monarchs will again play an 11-game league schedule in the always tough CAA. The Colonial has placed three teams in the NCAA tournament field six times in the past decade.

ODU opens the league slate on Sept 22nd at home with Delaware, then travels to Hofstra on Oct. 1, VCU on Oct. 6 and James Madison on Oct. 8th. Hofstra defeated ODU in the League finals last year and JMU was the only league team to beat the Monarchs in the regular season.

The CAA Championships return to the Virginia Beach Sportsplex, Nov. 3-5 with the quarterfinals at the higher seed.

"We have a lot of experience on this squad," said Dawson. "We have a solid nucleus, leadership, size, speed balance and strength. The key is how the new players fit in. Depth is key for us. A lot of guys must step up for us, especially in scoring."

"The schedule is challenging, because a lot of our key league games are on the road. The experience we have should help us. We look forward to the challenge and hopefully it will make us a better team come post season. The Rhode Island tournament will be a big test for us," adds Dawson.

"The Maryland game will be a great gage of where we are. They are number one and rightly so. The Stihl soccer classic has some solid teams in Loyola and UNCG who is a regular in the NCAA tournament field, and top nation's 20."

ODU ranked 19th nationally in total attendance (9,174) and are looking to break the school's single game mark.

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