Aug. 27, 2008
UD HOSTS DAYTON FLYER MARRIOTT INVITATIONAL
UD hosts Denver, Wisconsin and Wright State in the Dayton Flyer Marriott Invitational Labor Day Weekend at Baujan Field. All four teams will play their season openers Friday. Wisconsin and Wright State kick off the tourney on Friday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m. Dayton opens its regular season against Denver at 8 p.m. Friday. All four teams take to the field again Sunday with Wisconsin and Denver squaring off at 11:30 a.m. Dayton and Wright State going to battle at 2:30 p.m. Last year the Flyers won the Invitational with 2-1 victories over Sacramento State and Saint Francis, Pa. Dayton also won the title in 2006, dispatching Western Illinois, 2-0, and IUPUI, 4-0. In 2005 the Flyers posted two shutout victories to claim the Dayton Marriott Flyer Classic title, a 2-0 shutout against Marshall and a 1-0 win against Cal-Poly. UD has dominated its tournament, winning against Wright State - 2-1 in overtime - and Evansville, 2-1, to claim the Classic in 2004.
Dayton won the only meeting between the Flyers and Pioneers, scoring a 3-2 double overtime victory in 2002. Dayton and the Raiders have played 34 times and UD has a 15-16-3 mark against its local rival. The Flyers have played only two opponents more times: Ohio State (41) and Xavier (35). UD won the last meeting, a 1-0 victory last season that saw Jeff Popella score the only goal of the match 47 seconds into the second half.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
• Denver finished its 2007 campaign with a 10-4-4 mark and just missed out on the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title, tying No. 24 New Mexico, 0-0 in its season finale. The Pioneers had an eight-game unbeaten streak to finish 2007. They were picked second in the 2008 MPSF preseason poll, once again behind New Mexico. Denver returns five All-MPSF selections to the pitch, but lost First Team All-MPSF goalkeeper Matt Bredehoft, who helped the Pioneers to a 0.84 goals per game average. Denver is coming off a 3-1 exhibition loss to UNC-Wilmington on August 23.
• Wright State posted an 8-13 record during last year's campaign. The Raiders won six of their last eight matches, but suffered a 10-game losing stretch in the middle of the season. They were picked to finish seventh in the Horizon League 2008 preseason poll. The Raiders return conference Newcomer of the Year Carl Ebers, a sophomore midfielder. WSU lost its exhibition match against Northern Kentucky, 1-0, on August 22.
FOLLOW UD SOCCER ONLINE
Fans can follow the action of Dayton men's soccer throughout the year at www.DaytonFlyers.com. The official online host of Flyer men's soccer is home to rosters, statistics and game recaps. Fans can also follow each Flyer home game and selected road contests with GameTracker. Friday's game will be live video streamed on Dayton All-Access and the replay of the game will follow the contest. In addition, members from the Dayton Flyers will share their insights throughout the season.
SEASON OPENER STATS
Head Coach Dennis Currier is 2-1 in season openers at UD. Last year the Flyers beat Sacramento State and in 2005 UD edged Cincinnati, 3-2. The only season-opening loss for Currier was in 2006 against Northern Illinois, a 2-0 setback. The Flyers are 22-24-6 all-time in their season openers.
The Flyers will play in four tournaments during the regular season in 2008, including this weekend's Dayton Flyer Marriott 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.
EXHIBITION SCORING FRENZY
The Flyers accounted for seven goals in their two exhibition wins. UD took out Kentucky, 3-2, as senior Simeon Zapryanov blasted the game-winner from 35 yards out with less than three minutes to play in regulation. Senior Florian DeCamps and freshman Luke Baker each notched a goal in the exhibition opener as well. Freshman Lucas Young scored two goals, while DeCamps and junior Ryan Hartman each put away a score.
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.
TORDA NAMED TO HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST
Junior men's soccer player Alex Torda made Dayton history. The talented midfielder was named to the Missouri Athletic Club's 2008 Hermann Trophy Watch List. He is the first-ever Flyer athlete to earn a spot on the prestigious list which is comprised of 48 of the best men's Division I intercollegiate soccer players. Considered the highest individual honor in intercollegiate soccer, the recipient of the MAC's Hermann Trophy is selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). A list of 15 semifinalists is selected by a coaches committee in November, with three finalists announced in early December. The finalists will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., for a news conference on Jan. 9, 2009, where the winner will be announced, with a presentation banquet following.
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.
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.
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.
YI JOINS UD MEN'S SOCCER STAFF
Alex Yi joined the University of Dayton men's soccer program as an assistant coach for the 2008 season. Yi will work primarily with the Flyer defense. A former standout at UCLA with international playing experience, Yi retired from the Major League Soccer's FC Dallas in April of 2008. Prior to that he played for Royal Antwerp of the Belgian Jupiler League, a feeder club of Manchester United. Yi played for the U-17, U-20, and U-23 United States youth national teams, and started all five games in the 1999 Football World Youth Championship where the U.S. finished fourth in New Zealand. He was part of the inaugural class of the USSF's Bradenton Academy, along with other players such as Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, and Oguchi Onyewu. Upon graduating from the Bradenton Academy, he attended UCLA, where he became a highly-decorated soccer player in 2000 and 2001, starting in 41 games. Yi was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and also earned second team All-Pac-10 honors. He was named a third team NSCAA All-American as a sophomore, as well as the PAC-10 Player of the Year and was a nominee for the Hermann Trophy.
TOAST OF TEXAS
There are four players from the Lone Star State on UD's roster. Juniors Randy Dennis (San Angelo), Sonny Renner (Keller) and Alex Torda (Dallas), along with freshman Jonny Phipps (Plano), all hail from Texas.
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.
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