No. 8 Billikens Open Against Oral Roberts
What’s on Tap: Saint Louis, ranked No. 8 in the Soccer America preseason poll, officially begins the 2013 season Friday, Aug. 30, when Oral Roberts comes to Robert R. Hermann Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Following the Action: Video Stream (link coming near gametime) | Live Stats. Fans are reminded that they can view live stats via their mobile device by visiting slustats.com in the mobile browser. Also, be sure to follow @SLUMensSoccer on Twitter for updates throughout the game.
Up Next: The Billikens face Cincinnati (Sept. 6) and Northern Illinois (Sept. 8) in the Bearcat Classic in Cincinnati. For the full schedule, click here.
Tickets: Tickets for all men’s soccer home games at Robert R. Hermann Stadium can be purchased at the gate, by phone at (314) 977-4SLU or online at www.slubillikens.com. Prices for single-game tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Groups of 20 or more receive discounted tickets for $4 apiece. Season tickets are $70 for adults and $40 for youth (ages 3-12). Students with a valid SLU ID card receive free admission.
About the Billikens: Saint Louis returns all but one starter from last year’s team that went 16-5 overall and captured the Atlantic 10 Conference title. The Billikens claimed the No. 8 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. SLU’s 16 wins were the most since the 2001 squad won 18 games.
For Openers: The Billikens are 36-12-6 all-time in season openers. However, SLU is 0-4 in its last four season openers and winless in its last seven. The Billikens are 8-4-2 in home openers since 1999, the year Hermann Stadium opened.
All-Conference Honors: Saint Louis, the reigning Atlantic 10 Conference men’s soccer champion, was been picked to win the 2013 A-10 title in balloting by the league’s head coaches. Additionally, a league-high six Billikens were honored on the A-10 preseason All-Conference teams. Sophomore midfielder David Graydon, junior forward Robert Kristo, junior defender Anthony Manning and senior midfielder Alex Sweetin were named preseason All-Conference. Freshman goalkeeper David Andre and freshman midfielder/defender Joe Saad were named to the A-10’s preseason All-Rookie team.
Hermann Watch List: Junior forward Robert Kristo and junior defender Anthony Manning were named to the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List. The Hermann Trophy, emblematic of the nation’s top collegiate soccer player, is awarded in early January at the MAC in downtown St. Louis.
Polling Place: Saint Louis is ranked No. 8 in Soccer America’s preseason poll, No. 10 in CollegeSoccerNews.com’s preseason poll and No. 15 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire preseason rankings. TopDrawerSoccer.com tabs the Billikens No. 18 in the country.
Head Coach Mike McGinty: The 2012 A-10 Coach of the Year, Mike McGinty is in his fourth season as the Billikens’ head coach. He was hired in March 2010 after an 11-year stint at the University of Virginia, where he served as associate head coach for the 2009 NCAA national champion Cavaliers. McGinty’s three-year career coaching record is 31-22-4. He is aided by assistant coaches Jason O’Keefe (the 2012 NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Assistant Coach of the Year) and Blake Schneider, goalkeeper coach Tim Kelly and senior student manager Tim Leonard.
That’s Offensive: The Billikens return the scorers of all but three of their 46 goals. Junior forward Robert Kristo, a Hermann Trophy semifinalist a season ago, returns after leading SLU in scoring with 27 points (11G, 5A). Senior forwardAdnan Gabeljic finished second on the Billikens with 19 points (7G, 5A), while junior forward/midfielder Kingsley Bryceand senior midfielder Alex Sweetin tied for third in scoring with 17 points apiece.
Getting Defensive: While the core offensive unit returns for the Billikens, the same can be said for the defense. NSCAA first-team All-Region pick Anthony Manning and All-Conference performer Jon Roeckle return to anchor the defense. Sophomore defenders Marco Heskamp and Tyler David also return after starting as freshmen. In the net, senior Nick Shackelford returns. His 16 victories a season ago were seventh most in school history, and he appears in SLU’s top 10 in career victories (25) and career goals against average (0.98).
Scouting Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles posted a 4-13 overall record last year, including a 2-5 Summit League mark. Oral Roberts went 2-1 in exhibition play, defeating John Brown (1-0) and Northeastern State (4-1) after falling to SMU (3-1). Tom Adams is ORU’s top returning scorer after registering 11 points (3G, 5A) a season ago. The Golden Eagles are led by first-year head coach Ryan Bush, who took over the men’s program after leading ORU’s women’s team the previous five seasons.
Series History: In the only previous meeting between the squads, Saint Louis posted a 5-2 victory at Hermann Stadium Sept. 10, 2010. Current Billikens Alex Sweetin and Adnan Gabeljic scored in that game.
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