NORFOLK, VA—The ODU Soccer Monarchs (1-0) return home to host the Tribe (0-1) of William and Mary Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the ODU Soccer Complex. This will be game one of the third annual Optima Health Challenge between the two schools.
The ODU Soccer Monarchs opened the regular season with a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 victory over High Point last Friday at the VCU Soccer Tournament. Freshman Jesse Miralrio, senior Tim Hopkinson and junior Ivan Militar each scored second half goals. Hopkinson had an assist and a goal on the night. ODU’s match with VCU was postponed due to weather.
The Tribe is looking to bounce back after dropping the season opener against St. Francis (Pa.), 1-0, on Friday, Aug. 30. The Tribe was scheduled to play against No. 5 Connecticut on Monday night, but it was cancelled due to inclement weather. W&M returns nine starters from the 2012 campaign and will be led by seniors Will Smith, Roshan Patel and Chris Perez.
THE SERIES- Saturday will be the 51st match-up between ODU and W&M. The Tribe holds a 23-19-8 advantage over the Monarchs, including a 2-1 victory a season ago in Norfolk. After a Chris Harmon goal, W&M used second half goals from Ryan Flesch and Marcus Luster to rally and defeat ODU.
CONFERENCE USA: Four C-USA teams are ranked in the latest NSCAA Coaches Poll. They are New Mexico (9th), Charlotte (15th), UAB (18th), and Tulsa (22nd). ODU and Kentucky are receiving votes.
ODU ranks second among C-USA teams with the most NCAA bids. South Carolina (20), ODU (11), New Mexico (10), Tulsa, FIU, Charlotte (8 each), UAB (7) and Kentucky(5). For complete coverage of Conference USA men’s soccer and all of the league’s sports, log on to: ConferenceUSA.com.
The past two years, the Monarchs and Tribe battled for the Optima Health Challenge in the CAA. The two schools will still battle for the challenge against each other in men’s soccer, field hockey (Oct. 18), women’s basketball on Dec. 21, men’s basketball on Jan. 1, women’s lacrosse on April 26th along with baseball and other Olympic sports as schedules are announced throughout the year. The winner will be the school with the most head-to-head wins upon the completion of the athletic school year.
Optima Health provides health plan coverage to more than 415,000 members throughout Virginia.