#21 Monarchs Host 30th Annual Stihl Classic This Weekend
Sept. 8, 2005
The Old Dominion men's soccer team will host the 30th annual Stihl Soccer Classic this weekend at the ODU Soccer Stadium. The Monarchs, ranked #21 in the country by College Soccer News and 25th by the Soccer Times, are the two-time defending tournament champions and have won 3 of the last 4 tourneys. ODU heads into the Stihl Classic 1-0 on the season, defeating the N.C. State Wolfpack 2-1 last Thursday at home. Trevor Banks (Madison, WI), recently named to the College Soccer News "100 Freshmen to Keep an Eye on" list, scored both Monarch goals in the victory and earned CAA Co-Rookie of the Week honors in the process. Preseason 1st Team All-American Trevor McEachron (Woodbridge, VA) made his comeback from a devastating knee injury against the Wolfpack and will make his first Stihl Classic appearance since 2003. #13 Clemson, Rhode Island, and William & Mary round out the rest of a very strong Stihl field this year.
ODU is 0-1-1 all-time against Clemson, last playing them to a 0-0 tie in 1992. The Tigers, ranked #13 in the country in the NSCAA/Adidas coaches poll, have a 2-0 record thus far in 2005, defeating South Carolina 2-1 in double overtime and Longwood 3-1. Clemson returns six starters to the fold in 2005, and also sport the 15th ranked national recruiting class according to College Soccer News. The most highly touted member of that class, junior college national Player of the Year Dane Richards, has already contributed two goals and an assist in Clemson's first two games. Justin Moore is the leading returning scorer for Clemson, and brings needed depth and experience to the defender and midfield positions. Phil Marfuggi is a three-year starter at goalkeeper and has a career 1.36 GAA.
Rhode Island and Old Dominion will lock horns for the first time in history Friday night. The Rams have gotten off to an 0-1-1 start this season, dropping a 3-1 decision to UAB and tying Providence 1-1 at the Nike Classic in Rhode Island. Last season, the Rams led the Atlantic 10 conference in scoring but lost the nation's goals and points leader, Sasha Gotsmanov, to graduation. Junior midfielder Jeffrey Gonsalves, a second team All-Conference selection last season, has tallied a goal and assist so far this season and leads the Rhode Island offensive attack. Sophomore Lukasz Tumicz is a clutch performer at forward, scoring all three of his goals as game-winners in 2004 and scored the first goal of the year for Rhode Island this season.
William & Mary is making their third consecutive appearance at the Stihl Classic and have been regular participants throughout the tournament's history. The Tribe have gotten off to a rousing start in 2005, defeating St. Joseph's 8-0. Senior Andreas Nydal, Freshman Andrew Hoxie, and Junior Jarrett Thomas each scored two goals apiece in the contest, and figure to provide the Tribe with scoring punch on the front line. Senior Pat Scherder was a first team All-CAA selection last season, and will lead the Tribe this season.
What's known today as the Stihl Soccer Classic originally started in 1976 as the Harbor Front Kiwanis Classic. MetLife joined the partnership in 1986 and the tournament became the Old Dominion MetLife Classic presented by the Harbor Front Kiwanis Club. Old Dominion welcomed Stihl as the title sponsor for the 1997 Old Dominion Soccer Classic, and the tournament now continues as the "Stihl Soccer Classic, presented by the Harbor Front Kiwanis Club and Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel." The tournament champion is awarded the Queen's Cup, which was originally given to the tournament in 1976 by the British Royal Navy in honor of Queen Elizabeth. The Queen's Cup remains at Old Dominion.
William & Mary will square off with Clemson on Friday at 4:30 p.m in the tournament opener, followed by the Monarchs and Rhode Island at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, William & Mary will face Rhode Island at 12:00 noon, followed by ODU-Clemson at 2:30 p.m. Presentation of the Queen's Cup and the announcing of the All-Tournament team will take place after the ODU-Clemson match. Tickets are $4 for adults, $3 for children, and free for students with a valid student ID. For more information, please call the ticket office at (757) 683-5484.