Buccaneers to be tested against nationally ranked squad
GREENSBORO, N.C. (August 30, 2011) – Having won its season opener against Presbyterian over the weekend, the ETSU men’s soccer team will head to Greensboro, N.C. on Wednesday to take on the No. 24 UNC Greensboro Spartans inside the UNCG Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m.
“UNC Greensboro is a very good team,” said head coach Scott Calabrese. “Last year, they were champions of the Southern Conference and based off of this year’s performance, we already know they have strengthened their team. They had a good win over Duke and that will give them quite a bit of confidence heading into Wednesday.”
The Spartans, coming off a Southern Conference championship and their 12th NCAA Tournament appearance since 1991, began this year’s campaign on Friday with a victory over then-No. 12 Duke, 3-2. The win vaulted UNCG to No. 24 in this week’s NSCAA/Continental Tires national poll. UNC Greensboro also chimed in at No. 20 in this week’s Soccer America rankings.
Against the Blue Devils, UNCG went up 3-0 in the 57th minute off of Hakan Ilhan’s second goal of the match. The junior forward from Stuttgart, Germany also scored on a penalty kick in the 16th minute to help the Spartans hold off the Blue Devils for the one-goal victory.
“I think their main threat is [Ilhan],” said Calabrese. “He’s a very intelligent player, his movement is excellent and when he gets around the goal he can turn a half chance into a score. What we’re really going to have to do is make sure we deal with [Ilhan], and are always aware of where he is to try and deny him opportunities in and around the goal.”
ETSU has created some hype of its own, earning a No. 7 ranking in this week’s NSCAA/Continental Tires South Region poll. The Bucs scored three times against Presbyterian on Saturday, with three different student-athletes, to open the season 1-0. Senior Aaron Schoenfeld (Knoxville, Tenn.), junior Alesi Osorio (Austin, Texas) and sophomore David Geno (Kingsport, Tenn.) were the goal scorers in last weekend’s contest, with Schoenfeld also adding an assist en route to being named Atlantic Sun Player of the Week – the second time in his ETSU career.
In their one previous contest, UNCG defeated ETSU, 3-1, back on September 12, 2008. Current senior Jaron Westbrook (Round Rock, Texas) scored his first collegiate goal in that game off a header from a corner in the 79th minute.
This will be the Bucs’ first match against a nationally ranked team since October 30, 2010 when ETSU took then-No. 4 North Carolina to overtime at Summers-Taylor Stadium. Schoenfeld scored the equalizer in the 88th minute to force the extra period, but the Bucs fell in a solid effort, 2-1.
"If we make mistakes, or do some things wrong, UNCG will point them out and exploit them," said Calabrese. “This is a good opportunity for us to get a better idea of how we are as a team.”
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.