Men's Soccer Ready to Open 2014 Season at Home
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay men’s soccer team will get its highly-anticipated 2014 season underway this weekend, playing host to Grand Canyon on Friday (Aug. 29) and DePaul on Labor Day (Sep. 1) at Santaga Stadium.
The Phoenix will look to kick off the new season on the right foot, with a pair of games at home playing to its advantage. Friday’s contest will begin at 3 p.m. and Monday’s match will start at 3 p.m.
ABOUT GREEN BAY
Green Bay enjoyed a perfect 2-0 preseason, highlighted by wins over St. Thomas and UW-Parkside at home. The Phoenix shutout St. Thomas 4-0 before downing in-state competitors UW-Parkside 4-2. The team linked up well from the midfield to the attacking forwards, scoring four goals in each game. The team will look to carry that preseason momentum over to the regular season.
Back in the Phoenix green and white this season are seven of the nine top point scorers from a season ago. The team did lose two double-digit point scorers from 2013, but Lawrence Talery (Coon Rapids, Minn.) and Tyler Swanner (Glen Carbon, Ill.) are both returning after scoring 14 and eight points a season ago respectively. Sophomore Audi Jepson (Green Bay, Wis.) will also look to continue his young stellar career in his hometown.
The Phoenix averaged 1.71 goals per game last season, led by the departed leading-scorer from 2013 Sam Krenzien. So far in two preseason games, Green Bay is averaging 4.0 goals per contest. That number will be difficult to maintain throughout the season, but with a senior-laden defense on the roster, averaging around two goals per game could be enough to reach double digit wins. Dani Alvarado (Leander, Texas) has been solid in goal, while his senior and captain backline members Billy Donovan (St. Louis, Mo.) and Defrim Ramushevski (South Milwaukee, Wis.) have been stout defensively.
ABOUT THE OPPONENTS
Entering just its second year at the Division I level, Grand Canyon was picked to finish ninth in the Western Athletic Conference. Last season the team went 4-14-1, including a 3-10-1 record on the road.
A 5-11-2 team from a season ago, the Blue Demons were selected 10th in the preseason poll of the 10-team Big East in 2014. The team does return four of its top six scorers from last year, including the team leader.
Grand Canyon – This will be the first meeting all-time between the two schools. Grand Canyon will also be the most-traveled team geographically to visit Santaga Stadium this year.
DePaul – Green Bay owns a 5-4-2 all-time record against the Blue Demons and have won three out of the last four meetings, with the Phoenix winning 3-2 in Chicago last season.
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