No. 21 ODU Opens Season In Carolina Nike Classic Against No. 3 Wake Forest
By ODU Athletics
Aug. 30, 2007
NORFOLK, VA-- The Old Dominion University men's soccer squad opens the 2007 season Friday against third ranked Wake Forest in the first round of the Carolina Nike Classic. Game time is 5 p.m. in Chapel Hill, NC. ODU ranks 21st by the NSCAA/adidas coaches poll, while Wake Forest is third and UNC is 16th. ODU will play North Carolina Sunday at 7 p.m.
Last year, Wake Forest was 18-3-4 (5-2-1 in the ACC), while North Carolina was 11-6-3 (3-4-1).
THE SERIES ODU is 2-7 against Wake Forest. The Monarchs defeated the Demon Deacons in 2003, 2-0 at ODU, but lost in the 2005 NCAA tournament, 2-1.
The Monarchs are 4-5-1 against the Tar Heels, beating UNC last year, 1-0 in the NCAA second round.
ODU SEASON OUTLOOK
2007 MEN'S SOCCER OUTLOOK
Under the direction of four-time CAA Coach of the Year Alan Dawson, the Monarchs program continues to climb its way to national prominence and set milestones. Last year was no different as ODU earned its fifth straight NCAA tournament bid and reached the round of 16 for the first time.
ODU returns 12 lettermen led by Hermann Award candidate and 2006 CAA Defender of the Year David Horst, Along with 2006 CAA All-Rookie team goalkeeper Evan Newton along with senior midfielders Trevor Banks and A.J. Kulp. Horst was also the Premier Development League's Defender of the Year, and Newton Goal Keeper Of the Year.
MIDFIELDERS ODU returns all three starters in Trevor Banks (4gls, 2 ast.), A.J. Kulp (4 ast.) and Nane Joseph. "These guys are solid and we have new blood that will give us some different options, especially in the wide midfield spots," said Dawson. Also returning are Bobby Foglesong and Jason Loizou who both saw quality time last season.
DEFENDERS "Our two seniors David Horst and Yomby William along with goalkeeper Evan Newton should be a defensive force for us," adds Dawson. "All three played together in the PDL this summer. We have a solid nucleus of returnees, we just need to fill in some spots." Horst is on the Hermann award watchlist as one of the nation's top players.
GOALKEEPERS "Evan Newton had a promising freshman season and is a very important part of our success," said Dawson. We have also added former Monarch and 2005 All-CAA goalkeeper John Connelly as a volunteer coach Who will add a wealth of knowledge to the position."
Newton posted a 0.97 goals against average along with eight shutouts. He ranked among the CAA's top five in shutouts, and goals against average. The Monarchs also added freshman keeper Brennan Kirkpatrick from Shreveport, LA.
FORWARDS "This is the area with the most competition and biggest question marks," said Dawson. "With the graduation of Edson Elcock, Zach Kinney and Ross Mackenzie, we lost 24 goals. There could be six or seven guys battling for spots and we don't have any pre-conceived notion of who the starters will be until pre-season is completed. We have a lot of fresh blood and hope the returnees will raise their level."
Once again the Monarchs will play another solid national schedule with six opponents who competed in last year's NCAA College Cup. ODU starts with tournaments at North Carolina against nationally ranked Wake Forest and the Tar Heels, then Penn State's tournament which includes Ohio State, the Big Ten runners-up.
ODU comes home to host the 32nd annual Stihl Soccer Classic with a field that will have Dartmouth and Temple. ODU will then travel to nationally ranked Maryland before returning home to play Richmond. Then the CAA wars begin.
"This is probably the most difficult and challenging schedule we have ever faced," said Dawson. "We open with Wake Forest, then play North Carolina, who we knocked out of the tournament last year, and then go to Penn State's tournament. We have the nucleus to get it done, but it is very important we get off to a good start.
The CAA as is very strong, as both ODU and Towson reached the round of 16 last year, plus Hofstra and George Mason were in the tournament as well. "There are no real clear cut leaders which makes for a very challenging League race," said Dawson." In the college game, it is important to gain confidence, and play with confidence."
In the CAA, ODU hosts Hofstra, VCU, James Madison, Northeastern and Georgia State while traveling to George Mason, Towson, UNC-Wilmington, Delaware, Drexel and William and Mary. The CAA Championships are Nov. 13 with the quarterfinals at home sites and the league semi-finals and finals on Nov. 16 and 18 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. ODU again ranked in the top 20 nationally in total attendance(11,739).