Thursday, September 08, 2011
Bucs prepare for a pair of ranked opponents
NORFOLK, Va. (September 8, 2011) – Fresh off earning its first ranking in program history, the ETSU men’s soccer team travels to Norfolk, Va. this weekend to face No. 22 Old Dominion and No. 14 William and Mary in the Stihl Soccer Classic inside the ODU Soccer Complex. The Bucs face off against ODU on Friday, September 9, at 7 p.m. before taking on the Tribe on Sunday, September 11, at 12 p.m.
“Both games present a really good test for our team,” said head coach Scott Calabrese. “Old Dominion is a top-25 team, as is William and Mary, and playing this level of competition at this part of the season will really help us get a greater understanding of where we are as a team.”
ETSU (3-0-0) has put together both offense and defense through the first two weeks. The Bucs are second in the conference in goals per game, averaging 2.00, and lead the conference in goals against average, having not allowed a goal through over 289 minutes of play.
Heading into the weekend, the Buccaneer offense will be led by its top two goal scorers, who both have received Atlantic Sun Player of the Week honors. Senior Aaron Schoenfeld (Knoxville. Tenn.) has two goals and two assists in the first three games, and earned Player of the Week honors after scoring the game-winning goal, while also adding an assist, in the Bucs, 3-0, season opening victory against Presbyterian. Junior Alesi Osorio (Austin, Texas) earned Player of the Week honors the following week after scoring the game-winning goal over then-No. 24 UNC Greensboro, and assisting the game-winning goal against Marshall on Sunday.
Leading all goalkeepers with a goals against average of 0.00, redshirt sophomore Ryan Coulter (Dublin, Ireland) has been the central part to a stellar ETSU defense. Coulter made 13 saves in two games last week, including a nine-save effort against Marshall, on his way to being named Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Week.
Old Dominion (1-0-0) enters the weekend having played just one game thus far, a 6-0 win over Houston Baptist, after its games against Navy and West Virginia were postponed or cancelled. The Monarchs leading goal scorer from their lone contest is Yannick Smith, who put together a hat-trick against Houston Baptist back on Sept. 2. With the win, the Monarchs climbed to No. 22 in this week’s Soccer America poll, and are receiving votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tires rankings.
“Old Dominion is a mid-major program with a great history of national success,” said Calabrese. “Their pace going forward will present a set of circumstances for our defense that we haven’t seen to this point in the season. We’ll also face the situation of playing in front of a very large crowd and great atmosphere as we’re playing ODU on Friday night.”
William and Mary (2-1-0) will come into the weekend ranked No. 14 by the NSCAA, while being left out of Soccer America’s top-25 poll. The Tribe took down then-No. 5 Southern Methodist on Aug. 27 to launch themselves to No. 8 in the country, but was shutout by St. John’s last week, 3-0, to slide back down the polls. Nicolas Abrigo leads William and Mary with three goals on nine shots through the Tribe’s first three contests, while goalkeeper Colin Smolinsky has allowed five goals, making seven saves, through 270 minutes to amass a goals against average of 1.67.
“William and Mary is a program that went to the final 16 last year,” added Calabrese. “They’ll be another challenge for us come Sunday, so this is a great opportunity to see how far we’ve progressed against top competition.”
For more information on ETSU men’s soccer, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s soccer links.
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