Monarchs Host 29th Annual Stihl Soccer Classic This Weekend
Sept. 9, 2004
NORFOLK, VA -The Old Dominion men's soccer team is set to host the 29th annual Stihl Soccer Classic this weekend at the ODU Soccer Stadium. The Monarchs, ranked #9 by College Soccer News, #11 by the NSCAA coaches poll and #15 by Soccer Times, are the tournament's defending champions. ODU comes into the tournament with a 2-0 record, defeating Campbell and Davidson at home. ODU has out-scored opponents 3-0 this year, with Kevon Harris (Kingston, Jamaica) leading the way with two goals. Redshirt Sophomore goalkeeper John Connelly (Rockville, MD) has two shutouts for the team. Also competing in the tournament this year is Rutgers, Navy and Colonial Athletic Association rival William & Mary.
The Monarchs are 2-4-1 all-time against Rutgers, last facing the Scarlet Knights in 2002 in Piscataway, NJ, losing 3-2 in overtime. The Scarlet Knights, ranked as high as #12 in preseason polls, come in to the Stihl with a 1-0-1 record, tying Pittsburgh 3-3 and blanking Monmouth 2-0, both at home. Rutgers is a team in transition this year, after losing their top three scorers from a year ago. Senior Forward Chris Karcz is also expected to miss this season after a knee injury during the offseason. The freshmen trio of Andrew Herman, Zach Simi and Kevin O'Connor are expected to lead the Rutger's frontline this year. In the Rutger's backline, Seniors Anthony Schiavino and Pablo Ponce, will team with Junior Abdul Kargbo, who was a junior college All-American last year at Louisburg College. In the Scarlet Knight midfield, Seniors Wes Kirk and Gustavo Mora, along with Sophomore Nick La Brocca, will carry the load. La Brocca played in 22 games, starting in 19, in 2003. He finished fourth on the team in scoring with six points (2 goals, 2 assists). In goal, Senior Lubos Ancin, who went 3-3-2 last year, is expected to start.
ODU holds a 3-2-2 edge over Navy, last meeting with the Midshipmen in 1996, dropping a 4-3 decision. Navy is 1-1-1, splitting a pair of games at the UC-Irvine tournament. The Midshipmen defeated host UC-Irvine 3-0 before losing 1-0 to UNLV. Navy has out-scored opponents 3-1 this season. The Midshipmen were 5-10-1 a year ago and welcome back senior goalkeeper Frank DiFilippo, the team captain, who had a 1.34 Goals Against Average last year, making 72 saves, as well as three of their fop five scorers from 2003--Junior Midfielder/Forward Doug Kurz, Sophomore Midfielder Addy Strasdas and Midfielder Albert Silva.
William & Mary makes a second straight appearance in the Stihl Soccer Classic, splitting a pair of games in last year's edition. The Tribe is currently 1-1, losing to South Carolina 2-1 and defeating VMI 2-1 in Williamsburg last Saturday. William & Mary is led by Senior Midfielder/Defender Bryan Hinkle, who was named to the All-CAA Second Team and was an All-State selection a year ago, with five goals and nine assists in 19 games. Junior Forward Patrick Scherder (11 goals, 3 assists in 2003) and Senior Forward Brannon Thomas, who returns from an injury-ridden 2003 campaign, are expected to lead the Tribe's frontline. The William & Mary backfield is built around Senior Colin Young, who scored his first career game-winning goal against VMI, and Sophomore Jeff Marklin. Two-time CAA Rookie of the Year Goalkeeper Kris Rake, who played nearly every minute for the Tribe in 2003, will return to goal as a sophomore.
William & Mary will take on Rutgers Friday, September 10, at 4:30, followed by the ODU-Navy game at 7:00. On Sunday, William & Mary faces Navy at 12:00 noon, followed by the ODU-Rutgers game at 2:30. Awards and presentations will be given following the ODU game Sunday. Tickets are $4 for adults, $3 for children and free for students with a valid ID. For more information, call 683-5484.