Providence, R.I. – The Brown University men's soccer team opens up the 2012 season with the annual Ocean State Classic this weekend, hosting the University of Rhode Island on Friday and traveling to Kingston, R.I., on Monday to take on either Providence College or Bryant. The Bears are set to kick-off at 7 p.m. on Friday evening against the Rams, and will then play at either 5 or 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the URI Soccer Complex.
AT A GLANCE
The Bears return 17 letterwinners from last year's NCAA Sweet 16 squad, including unanimous first team All-Ivy defender Dylan Remick (Inverness, IL) who helped the Bears earn 11 shutouts last year. Brown, crowned Ivy League champions with a 4-1-2 record, reached the Round of 16 for the second consecutive year, and ended the season 12-5-3 overall.
The Bears are 45-33-8 in season openers all-time and are 1-1 under the direction third-year head coach Patrick Laughlin. The Bears opened the 2010 season with a 4-0 victory at Bryant, but fell to Providence College 1-0 in an away game to open the 2011 campaign.
HOME OPENER DETAILS
The first 100 fans through the gates of Stevenson Field will receive a free men's soccer schedule poster. Visit the Brown Athletics promotions page for upcoming promotions. Also, like all of Brown's home games, the action can be viewed live via America One, and/or Mike Rubin and Mike Mancuso will be calling the action for Brown Internet Radio.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
The Rams arrive in Providence with a 0-1 record after falling 1-0 in their season opener at Vermont last Saturday afternoon. The 2011 Rams finished with a 7-10-1 record including a 4-4-1 finish in the Atlantic 10 to place seventh in the league. Rhode Island returns 16 letterwinners from last season, including eight starters, and welcomed 10 newcomers to the 2012 squad. Junior goalkeeper Adam Blanchard earned his first loss in net for the Rams as he picked up four saves in the 1-0 loss to the Catamounts.
SCOUTING THE FRIARS
Providence College heads into its Friday afternoon game against Bryant with an 0-2 record after falling to Northeastern in double overtime, 2-1, and then suffered a 3-1 loss to Monmouth. PC ended the 2011 season with an 11-8-1 record and went 5-3-1 in the Big East to finish in fifth. The team returns five starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team, and has welcomed eight newcomers to the lineup.
Seniors Ryan McDuff (Plano, TX) and Eric Robertson (San Antonio, TX) have been named captains for the 2012 season. McDuff, earning the title for the second consecutive year, has started in 40 consecutive games for Bruno in the last two seasons and competed in every minute of every game in 2011. Robertson competed in 39 games in the past two years and has tallied two goals and dished out one assist in his career. Both McDuff and Robertson played integral roles in helping the Bears captured an Ivy League title and earn at at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament as their stingy defense helped Brown to 11 shutouts.
BEARS ON THE TV
The Brown men's soccer team will be featured as the NSCAA College 'Game of the Week' on Fox Soccer Channel when the squad takes on the Dartmouth Big Green this fall. The game in Hanover is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9.
Home of the Brown men's soccer team, Stevenson Field was given a new look with the installation of a FIFA approved artificial surface. The changing of Stevenson Field from natural grass to synthetic grass began in mid-May.
The Bears have been ranked 22nd in the National Soccer Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll, but have since dropped to 24 before their season has started. Last season, Brown began its season ranked 11th in the country and went on to capture an Ivy title and its second straight Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
After the Ocean State Classic, Brown will host its annual Dunkin Donuts Brown Soccer Classic presented by Academic Bus. Cleveland State, Fordham and Siena will be competing in Providence for the title, as Brown takes on Cleveland State at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, followed by a 2:30 p.m. game on Sept. 9th against Fordham.