Aug. 17, 2008
The University of Dayton Flyers play their first exhibition match Monday at Baujan Field against the University of Kentucky. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET. This is the first of three exhibitions UD will use to prepare for the 2008 season. In addition to the game against the Wildcats on Monday, the Flyers will play in the annual Blue and White game - an intra-squad scrimmage - on Wednesday, Aug. 20 at Baujan. Dayton closes out the exhibition portion of its schedule with a neutral match against Central Arkansas at the St. Louis Soccer Park.
The Wildcats posted a 7-10-2 record in 2007 and finished third in the Conference USA standings with a 5-3 mark (UK is in the SEC in all sports, except soccer and rifle, sports that are not sponsored by the SEC). Kentucky earned a spot in the conference tournament by winning four of its last six matches, but saw its season ended in a C-USA round one loss to Marshall, 3-1. The Wildcats battled through injury issues throughout the season, at times missing as many as 12 members of the regular playing rotation due to injury. The highlight of UK's 2007 season was upsetting then-ranked No. 1 SMU on Nov. 3. Kentucky returns junior Barry Rice, the 2007 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, who was also named First-team All-Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Wildcats were 3-4 when playing on the road last season.
Dayton owns the victory in the sole regular-season match it played against the Wildcats. Jerry Butcher's UD squad downed Kentucky 2-1 in its season opener in 1982. The two squads squared off last season in an exhibition game in Lexington Ky. that came to an end with a 1-1 draw. Junior Jeff Popella scored the Flyers' lone goal, the equalizer, in the 72nd minute of the match on assists from sophomore Josh Albers and junior Ryan Handbury.
SPRING INTO ACTION
The Flyers concluded the 2008 spring season with a 1-1 tie over the Akron Zips, who are currently ranked 12th in the NSCAA/adidas preseason national poll, and a 1-0 victory against Ohio Wesleyan. UD finished the spring season 4-1-3 overall.
The Flyers will play in four tournaments during the regular season in 2008. They kick off the tournament action by hosting the Dayton Flyer Marriott Invitational Aug. 29 & 31 at Baujan Field. Wright State and Wisconsin face off at 5:30 p.m. ET and Dayton takes on Denver at 8 p.m. on day one. The anticipated cross town matchup of the Flyers and Raiders will take place on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET to close out the invitational. Dayton then plays in Wisconsin's Middleton Sports & Fitness Invitational on Sept. 5 & 7. The Flyers follow that with the UNCW Courtyard by Marriott Classic on Sept. 12 & 14 where they will play UNC-Wilmington and Coastal Carolina. UD wraps up the regular season tourneys with the Dayton Flyer Courtyard by Marriott Tournament on Sept. 19 & 21. The Flyers will host Butler, Marshall and Robert Morris.
Dayton was selected to finish fifth in the Atlantic 10 in a preseason poll of the league's head coaches conducted by the A-10. Last season UD posted a 10-4-5 record and advanced to the conference tournament as the sixth and final seed, and was knocked out in the quarterfinals on penalty kicks against Final Four participant UMass, the only draw of the regular and postseason for the Minutemen. The six-team A-10 Men's Soccer Championship will be held Nov. 13-16 at Rooney Field on the campus of Duquesne University.
DAYTON'S SOCCER HISTORY
This is the 52nd season of Dayton Flyers men's soccer. UD showcases an all-time record of 385-348-58 (.523). The Flyers have had a winning record in nine of the last 11 seasons. UD also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and 1998. Head coach Dennis Currier ranks sixth on the Flyers' all-time list in coaching victories at 27, just six behind Jerry Butcher. There have been 791 Flyer men's soccer games in its 51-year history. No. 800 will be held at Baujan Field when UD hosts SIU-Edwardsville on Sept. 26.
FIT TO BE TIED
The Flyers finished 2007 with five ties, the most in school history. The previous high was four draws when the Dennis Currier's Flyers were 11-5-4 in 2005 and also in 1990 when UD went 11-7-4. The Flyers finished the 2007 season on a six-game unbeaten streak. Currier has 11 ties in his three-year career at UD, the most of any Flyer coach.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Junior Alex Torda was named to the 2008 Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference team. Named UD's Most Valuable Player in 2007, Torda scored six goals and had five assists, tallying 17 points as a midfielder during his sophomore season with those efforts earning him First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors. Torda also garnered a First Team selection on the 2007 NSCAA/adidas Division I All-Region, Mid-Atlantic Team and was named First Team, All-Ohio by the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Coaches. Torda is making the climb up UD's record books and currently ranks 15th with .706 points per game.
Senior Joe Olwig has scored four game-winning goals in his career, tying him for 10th all-time in UD's record book.
RAVE ROOKIE REVIEW
Sophomore Josh Albers was the only Flyer to earn the A-10 Rookie of the Week award in `07. The Cincinnati native led all freshmen Flyers in scoring and tied for fourth on the team in goals scored.
Juniors Randy Dennis, Ryan Handbury and Sonny Renner return after starting every game on the back line in 2007 and helping UD to six shutouts on the season. At one point in the season, the Flyers did not allow a goal in 282:25 consecutive minutes of play.
INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF FLYERS
UD has an international flavor on the 2008 roster with seven players from overseas. The European players include graduate student Daniel March, junior Ryan Handbury and freshmen Luke Baker and Jack Pearson, who all hail from the United Kingdom. Senior Simeon Zapryanov is from Bulgaria and fellow senior Florian DeCamps from France. Junior Isaac Kissi is from Ghana.
THREE OF A KIND
In his Dayton coaching career Dayton, Dennis Currier's teams are 12-0-0 when scoring three or more goals, including last season when the Flyers earned a 3-2 win against the Butler Bulldogs and a 4-1 triumph against Saint Joseph's.
MASTERS OF THEIR DOMAIN
Since 1992 the Flyers have excelled at Baujan Field with a 90-34-11 record, good for a .742 winning percentage. Last season UD went 7-0-2 at home. Since becoming the exclusive home to UD soccer, Baujan Field has grown into one of the top soccer venues in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Dayton twice has played NCAA Play-In games at the historic venue - 1997 and 1998.
GREAT GRAD RATES
The University of Dayton had nine sport programs record a perfect 100 percent Graduation Success Rate in the latest GSR Report released by the NCAA. Success in the classroom is nothing new for UD student-athletes. The Flyers combined cumulative grade point average is above a 3.0. In addition, UD has had 27 Academic All-Americans in the previous six years. Dayton continued its long tradition of success in the classroom by placing 99 student-athletes on the Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll for the Spring 2008 semester.