ODU Hosts No. 1 Creighton In 38th Stihl Soccer Classic
NORFOLK, VA— The 38th annual ODU Stihl Soccer Classic kicks off this weekend at the ODU Soccer Complex headlined by Friday night’s contest between the Monarchs (1-1) and the NSCAA/Coaches No. 1 ranked Creighton Bluejays (3-0) at 7 p.m. The first game of the day will have William and Mary (1-1) against UCF (1-1-1) at 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, W&M will play Creighton at 12 noon, followed by ODU and UCF at 2:30 p.m.
This will be the second straight year where the Monarchs will host the nation’s number one team. Last year, the fourth ranked Monarchs hosted top ranked Maryland, but the contest was cancelled midway in the first half because of wet grounds and severe thunderstorms in the Hampton Roads area.
“We are excited to play the number one team. Creighton is a very, very good team. We’ll have to play collectively as a team very well, both on the defensive side of the ball as well as on the attack,” said ODU head coach Alan Dawson who served as an assistant for Creighton’s head coach Elmar Bolowich when they were at the University of North Carolina. “Coach Bolowich is a very good friend and we are looking forward to the match, it’s going to be a big crowd, a great atmosphere which will give us a lift.”
Pre-season All-C-USA Tim Hopkinson leads the Monarchs in scoring with a goal and an assist, followed by freshman Jesse Miralrio and junior Ivan Militar with a goal each, and sophomore Ryan Condotta has an assist.
Last season, ODU knocked off second ranked Creighton, 2-1 in front of a single season record crowd of 6,848 in Omaha. It was the third win over a second ranked team in school history.
Creighton, who has advanced to the last two NCAA College Cup semifinals is a member of the BIG EAST The Blue Jays beat 14th ranked Tulsa from C-USA last week. Sophomore midfielder Timo Pitter leads the Bluejays with three goals and one assist for seven total points, followed by freshman Ricardo Perez with two goals and freshman Fabian Herbers with a goal and two assists. Junior goalkeeper and coaches son Alex Bolowich has allowed only one goal in three matches. Last week, Bolowich was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week and Eric Miller was named Defensive Player of the Week. Creighton is coached by Elmar Bolowich, in his third season. This is Creighton’s first number one ranking in 14 years.
The University of Central Florida is coached by Bryan Cunningham, who is in his seventh season. The Knights of the American Athletic Conference are led by sophomore Romario Williams and freshman midfielder Fernando Laverde, both have scored goals. Senior goalkeeper Sebastian evers has a 0.62 goals against average. ODU defeated the 25th ranked Knights last year in Orlando,2-0.
The Tribe of William and Mary are led by a balanced scoring attack of Jackson Eskay, Chris Albiston and Josh West, who have each scored a goal and assisted. Goalkeeper David Phillips has a 0.50 goals against average.
The tournament champion will again be presented with the Queens Cup which was originally given to Old Dominion University by the British Royal Navy in 1976 in honor of Queen Elizabeth. ODU has won the last two tournaments.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for ODU faculty/staff, senior citizens, military and youth’s 17 and under.
All AAA members can receive a buy one and get one free ticket opportunity to any home men’s or women’s soccer game this fall, by showing your AAA membership card at the ticket entrance to the stadium. Friday night’s ODU game features the annual Spirit contest for ODU student groups and a lively atmosphere which includes the ODU pep band.
The contest will be the first internet broadcast of the season with ODU Director of Broadcasting Ted Alexander providing the play-by-play along with former Soccer Monarch Harry Gillespie (ODU’10) providing the color.
ODU’S WINS OVER TOP TWO RANKED TEAMS
Sept. 14, 2012 at # 2 Creighton, 2-1
Sept. 28, 2010 vs.#2 North Carolina, 3-2
1985 at #2 Virginia, 1-0
OTHER MATCHES VS TOP TWO RANKED TEAMS
Sept. 18,2012 vs. #1 Maryland at ODU (Postponed because of weather)
1992 L 1-0 #2 UCLA (ODU Stihl Classic)
1984 L 1-0 #2 Virginia (at Foreman Field)