Sept. 1, 2005
Providence, RI - The Brown men's soccer team will open up the home portion of its 2005 schedule by hosting the eighth annual adidas-Brown Soccer Classic, beginning on Friday. Two of the top six teams in the country, along with four Hermann Trophy Watch List nominees, will make their way to Providence.
The first game of the tournament, which features 2004 Big East Champion #3 UCONN and George Mason, will get underway at 5:00 p.m. The Bears will take to the field at 7:30 p.m., and will face #24 UNC-Greensboro, which was the top ranked team in the nation for most of last season.
The second day of the tournament will be held on Sunday, starting at 12 noon when the Huskies will face UNC-Greensboro. Brown will battle it out with George Mason at 2:30 p.m. Both games on Sunday will be televised live by Cox Sports Television.
All kids under 12 will be admitted for free while children ages 13-17 will be able to purchase a tournament pass for just $5 or pay $3 per day. Adult tickets will be $6 per day or $10 for a tournament pass. To order your tickets today, contact the Brown Ticket Office at 401-863-2773.
In addition, Brown will once again host a barbecue and concert for students outside of Stevenson Field, prior to the start of the Bear's match-up against UNC-Greensboro at 7:30 on Friday.
Brown is off to a 1-1 start after rebounding from a 2-1 loss to Hartwick last Friday with a big 5-0 win over St. Peter's on Sunday at the UConn-adidas Tournament. The Huskies won the tournament, picking up a pair of 2-0 shutouts over St. Peter's and Hartwick. UNC-Greensboro stands at 1-1 while George Mason remains undefeated with a 2-0 mark.
While the Bears will face new challenges this season, the return of 18 letterwinners, including nine starters and the addition of eight newcomers, signifies the makings of another exciting season of Brown soccer. "We're going to have a very young team this season with a large incoming class and an even stronger schedule than last year's," says Head Coach Mike Noonan. "The toughest challenge will be incorporating the freshmen with the talented mix of players we already have," adds Noonan.
Another evident hurdle Brown will have to overcome in 2005 is the loss of its graduated seniors. All three members of the class of 2004 signed contracts with the MLS and played critical roles for Brown. Taking over the ranks as captains will be senior defender Sean Gosselin and junior defender Matt Britner, the Bears quickest answer to the departure of All-American defender Jeff Larentowicz '05. Britner, who missed all of last year with an injury, has the instant potential of developing into one of the premier defenders in the country.
Also returning to the backfield is junior Ben Brackett and sophomore Laurent Manuel, who were both regular starters for the Bears last season. Up front, Brown will have the offensive prowess of senior Keith Caldwell and junior Andrew Daniels. The duo scored ten of the team's 25 goals last season and were All-Ivy Honorable Mentions. Anchoring things in the midfield will be senior Ibrahim Diane.
Coming off the program's fifth Big East Tournament championship in 2004, the UCONN men's soccer team heads into the 2005 season as the fifth ranked team in the nation. Led by Ray Reid, the winningest active coach in the NCAA, the Huskies are set to contend for the Big East and NCAA Championships this fall.
Eight starters return from last year's squad that kept opponents scoreless throughout the conference tournament, including All-Big East honorees, sophomore Julius James, senior Mpho Moloi, sophomore Chukwudi Chijindu and senior Willis Forko. In addition, James and Moloi have been named to the Hermann Trophy watch list. Adding to the strong core of returnees, the Huskies welcome a small, but extremely talented recruiting class that was tagged in the top 20 by College Soccer News.
Chijindu and Forko lead the offensive charge as the top two returning scorers from last season. Chijindu led the team with six goals and four assists for 16 points, while Forko added two goals and three assists as one of the Huskies top defenders. The backfield, headlined by James, remains intact from the line last year that allowed just 0.83 goals per game and helped produce eight shutouts for the Huskies.
Heading into the 2005 season, the George Mason men's soccer program will see many new faces on the field, as well as on the sideline, as former head coach Fran O'Leary resigned on August 10th. Also departing was former associate head coach Leigh Sillery. Add to that the return of only four starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's squad, there will be little continuity from 2004 to 2005.
To improve on last season's 7-11-1 overall record (3-6 CAA) and an eighth place finish in the league, new head coach Greg Andrulis will rely on the Patriots four returning starters to anchor the team. Senior Teba McKnight led George Mason in scoring last year with seven goals and six assists. Also returning to the front line is senior Kephern Fuller, while freshman Danny Ames is expected to make an immediate impact to the Patriots' attack. Returning starting defenders senior Damian O'Rourke and junior Jacob Weitz will give Mason the much needed veteranship it needs.
Ranked sixth in the Soccer America Preseason Poll, the UNC Greensboro men,s soccer team hopes to continue to reach new heights as it did in 2004. For the first time since moving to Division I in 1991, UNCG was ranked No. 1 in the nation for four weeks last season. The last team to be unbeaten last year, UNCG went 16-0-1 to open the season.
UNCG is led by head coach Michael Parker, who is the winningest active coach in Division I. Parker returns six starters from last year,s squad. Among those six are two candidates for the prestigious Hermann Trophy, collegiate soccer,s National Player of the Year award. Junior Forward Randi Patterson was the 2004 Southern ConferencePlayer of the Year and earned first-team All-American honors from theNSCAA. He recorded 46 points last year on 19 goals and eight assists, ranking in the Top 10 nationally in goals and points. Junior midfielder Scott Jones had 21 points on seven goals and seven assists.