36TH ODU STIHL SOCCER CLASSIC FEATURES STRONG FIELD WITH FOUR RANKED SQUADS
NORFOLK, VA—The 36th annual ODU Stihl Soccer Classic kicks off this weekend with one of the strongest fields in tournament history. All four teams are in the nation’s top 25 as action begins Friday, Sept. 9 with No. 13 Monmouth against No. 16 William and Mary at 4:30 p.m., followed by No. 22 ODU against No. 19 East Tennessee State at 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 11: East Tennessee State will play William & Mary at 12 noon, followed by ODU against Monmouth at 2:30 p.m.
Monmouth (2-0) is coached by three-time NSCAA North Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year Robert McCourt who is in his eighth season with the Hawks and comes into the tournament with three players on the Hermann Trophy watch list. The Hawks have three seniors on the Hermann Trophy Watch list in defenders RJ Allen and Anthony Vazquez and midfielder Max Hamilton. Allen and Ryan Clark scored both of the Hawks goals. Monmouth has already beaten St. Peter’s and Boston University this season.
The MAC Hermann Trophy is the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer. The recipients are selected by head coaches of the NCAA Division I programs .
East Tennessee State (4-0), the defending Atlantic Sun Champions are coached by Scott Calabrese in only the programs fourth season. Thus far ETSU is 3-0 on the season, including a 1-0 overtime victory over then 20th ranked UNC Greensboro. Alesi Osorio, Aaron Schoenfeld and David Geno each have scored two goals for ETSU. Schoenfeld along with Frank Doumbe had two assists each. ETSU’s defense lead by goal keeper Ryan Coulter have not allowed a goal thus far this season. Atlantic Sun.
William and Mary is 2-1 with a win over Loyola (Md.) and SMU with its lone loss to St. John’s. The defending CAA Champions are led by pre-season All-CAA senior midfielder Nicolas Abrigo with three goals, while Joshua West and John Ciampa have two assists each. The Tribe reached the NCAA third round last year.
The Monarchs (1-0) return home for its home opener after beating Houston Baptist, 6-0 in the West Virginia Tournament, but bad weather cancelled the match with No. 9 Mountaineers late in the first half as did Hurricane Irene with the season opening Navy match. Last year, ODU reached the NCAA second round after beating defending National Champion Virginia. The Monarchs have reached atleast the second round seven of the last nine years. ODU head coach Alan Dawson is in his 15th season with the Monarchs.
ODU junior forward Yannick Smith was named to the TopDrawer Soccer and CAA Co-Player of the Week for his hat trick of three goals against Houston Baptist.
Sophomore Gideon Asante (Sunyani, Ghana)was selected to the All-CAA Pre-season squad while juniors Chris Harmon (Downingtown, PA.) and Jordan LeBlanc (Haverford, PA.) were honorable mention picks. Asante is among 42 players on the 2011 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List, and included in TopDrawerSoccer.com's 100 college players to watch.
The Tournament champion will again be presented with the Queen’s Cup which was originally given to Old Dominion University by the British Royal Navy in 1976 In honor of Queen Elizabeth.
Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, there will be a pre-game student tailgate with free food and soft drinks before the ODU match. There will be a student organization spirit competition with $500 worth of prizes for the most spirited groups, as well as an interactive game zone-free for all youths prior to the start of the ODU match.
ODU's director of broadcasting Ted Alexander will do play-by-play during the video streaming of Sunday's match between ODU and Monmouth. Former ODU soccer standout Gregg Mottinger ('06) will be the color analyst.
Tickets for the Classic are $5.00 each day for adults, $4.00 for youth, senior citizens, military and ODU faculty staff. For more information, please call the ODU Athletic Ticket Office at 683-4444.