SOCCER MONARCHS OPEN STIHL CLASSIC WITH No. 13 NORTH CAROLINA FRIDAY AT ODU
NORFOLK, VA—The ODU Soccer Monarchs (0-1) return home this weekend to host the 39th annual Stihl Soccer Classic Friday night against 13th ranked North Carolina (1-1). Game time is 7 p.m. at the ODU Soccer Complex. ODU will host former CAA rival Northeastern (1-1) Sunday night at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for faculty staff, military, youth and senior citizens.
This year’s Stihl Classic set up will have ODU hosting two games and VCU hosting two games. The Rams will host Northeastern Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and North Carolina on Sunday night at 7 p.m.
The Monarchs lost its season opener last weekend at No. 3 Virginia, 1-0 in overtime. Red-shirt sophomore goalkeeper Alex Tiesenhausen made 10 saves on the night. ODU remains 25th in CollegeSoccer News Top 25.
ODU and UNC have met 13 previous times with the Tar Heels holding a 6-5-2 edge. ODU last defeated UNC in 2010, 2-1 and the Tar Heels won the last overall meeting in 2011, 3-0. The Tar Heels come into the game with a 1-1 record, having beaten No. 7 California 3-1 and lost to No. 1 UCLA, 1-0 last weekend.
Forwards Andy Craven and Rob Lovejoy lead UNC with one goal and one assist each, with senior Brendan Moore in goal with 11 saves and a 1.00 goals against average. Head Coach Carlos Somoano enters his fourth year at the helm as he has posted a 46-12-11 career record. His Tar Heels captured the 2011 NCAA title.
Northeastern enters the Classic at 1-1 after beating New Hampshire, 1-0 and losing to Hartford, 1-0. Head Coach Brian Ainscough is in his 10th season with the Huskies. Senior Simon Cox was named to the All-CAA Pre-season team. ODU leads the series against the Huskies, 6-3-1, winning the last meeting, 1-0 in 2012.
VCU (1-1) is led by three Atlantic 10 Pre-season All-Conference selections in defender Dennis Castillo, midfifelder Devon Fisher and forward Kharlton Belmar. In four years, Head coach Dave Giffard is 42-26-13. The Friday night game features the annual spirit Contest for ODU student groups.