Monarchs Open Regular Season Tuesday Night Against Longwood
Aug. 30, 2009
NORFOLK, VA-- The ODU Soccer Monarchs open the regular season Tuesday night at 7 p.m.against the Lancers of Longwood University at the ODU Soccer Complex.
The Monarchs were 1-1 in the pre-season against two of the ACC's top teams. ODU defeated Virginia, 3-1 then lost 2-1 at Number One ranked North Carolina.
The Monarchs were picked to finish second in the CAA by the league coaches. Over the last seven years, ODU has a .649 (90-43-14) winning percentage, advancing to the NCAA College Cup six straight years from 2002-07. The Monarchs tied for second in the CAA last year.
SERIES VS. LONGWOOD
ODU and the Lancers have met twice. The Monarchs won, 2-0 in 1985 and 6-0 in 2003. Longwood was 8-8-4 last year and will be led by senior Martin Vickerton who scored six goals and assisted on six others last year. Senior midfielder Brian Germain scored four goals with two assists. Longwood also plays two other CAA teams, VCU and George Mason this season.
TEAM OUTLOOK The Monarchs return 11 lettermen, including three All-CAA performers, a 2007 All-CAA and All-region selection who was out last year with an injury, and 11 newcomers.
"We started preparing for the season back in January, and re-focused on some things," Said Dawson. "We are better than we were, more disciplined than we were, and more together with the chemistry. There will be tremendous competition at every position, atleast two guys at every spot. "
Joseph (2 gls, 2ast, 6 pts) earned second team All-CAA honors, while Webb earned CAA All-Rookie honors and Steffen Rabben (7 gls, 2 ast, 16 pts) was named the CAA Rookie of the Year, and second team All-CAA honors. ODU also welcomes back 2007 All-CAA and All-region keeper, Evan Newton (0.64 GAA, 11 SO).
"We have some outstanding newcomers, and hopefully they will fit in chemistry wise quickly. Of course on the field, they will have to give us something early to help us continue to move in the right direction."
MIDFIELDERS The Monarchs midfielders will be anchored by Seniors Nane Joseph and Bobby Foglesong. "We are excited that we have two very strong returning midfielders in Nane Joseph and Bobby Foglesong," said Dawson. " There will be a lot of competition, For the two wide side Midfield spots. We have a lot of new faces that will be competing for those slots."
DEFENDERS On the defensive side, ODU will be led by co-captains Jason Loizuo, Tommy Webb and Adam Roscioli. "We are pretty solid as we return a good nucleus of backs who will be competing for starting positions," said Dawson. "Including the new players, we have as many as eight defenders. Adam Rosciolli and Jason Loizou will be our leaders as well as sophomore returnee Tommy Webb who had a very strong freshman season."
"We've got Evan back healthy, and Michael got some good time and experience in goal last year, So we've got great competition," Said Dawson. "We feel much, better about our goal situation and that is a big, important part of the defense."
FORWARDS "We have lots of different pieces up front. It's just a matter of finding the right combinations," Said Dawson. "We've got speed, some size, and strength. We have some players with good creative sense. There are some new players, younger players that we will have to look at and see where they stand. Everything is up for grabs."
THE SCHEDULE The Monarchs continue to play one of the nations most challenging schedules. ODU's exhibition Games were against perennial powers Virginia and North Carolina. The Monarchs will compete in the College of Charleston's tournament which includes Furman, then hosts the annual Stihl Soccer Classic with Temple and Niagara. ODU will then host Penn State as part of a double-header with the Lady Monarchs before embarking on the always tough CAA schedule.
"We will be tested early with Virginia and top ranked North Carolina," said Dawson. "We will Find out what we are all about and where we stand. Those two opponents will help us prepare for that first game. Hopefully we will have a better idea of who is capable of doing what, enabling us to put the best group on the pitch."
"The College of Charleston Tournament will be very challenging as both C of C and Furman are excellent teams with strong soccer traditions. Our Stihl Classic is always competitive and we are opening with Niagara on Friday night. Penn State is another solid Big Ten squad which should be an entertaining soccer evening, which includes a doubleheader with the women's squad."
"This year, the CAA tournament will be just a four-team event, and the league race will literally be a Dog fight for those spots," continues Dawson. "there is no team in the league that will be an easy three-points. It will be a real challenge from top to bottom."