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FIRST ROAD TRIP OF THE SEASON FOR DAYTON AT UNCG KICKOFF CLASSIC
After picking up two victories to open the 2007 season, the Dayton Flyers look to continue its winning ways with a Friday match against the UNC Greensboro Spartans and a Sunday game against the Davidson Wildcats. Dating back to last season, the Flyers are unbeaten in its previous six contests with a 4-0-2 record. The 2-0-0 start is also the first time the program has opened the season with two victories since the 2003 campaign. On Tuesday, the Flyers were ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA/adidas® Middle Atlantic Region.
One of the keys to UD's early success has been a resurgent offense. Last year the Flyers averaged 1.14 goals per game. Through two contests this season, that number has been bumped up to 2.00 goals per game. Senior Tyler Imbrogno, who leads Dayton in scoring, tallied a goal and two assists over the weekend. Senior goalkeeper Zac Gibbens anchors the UD defense and has played steady so far in 2007. Gibbens has a 2-0-0 record with a 1.00 goals against average and a .714 save percentage.
ABOUT UNC GREENSBORO
UNCG, ranked No. 23 in the NSCAA's pre-season Top 25, has made it to the NCAA's Round of 16 three straight seasons. After winning its season opener 2-0 against Georgetown, the Spartans dropped a 4-1 decision to the James Madison Dukes on Sunday. Nirav Kadam leads UNC Greensboro in scoring with two goals, while goalkeeper Nate Berry is 1-1-0 on the year with a 2.00 goals against average. The UNGC Kickoff Classic will be the Spartans' home opener. UNGG leads the all-time series 1-0 with a 4-3 win back in 1998.
Despite two losses over the weekend, the Wildcats played tough in each game. On Sunday Davidson rallied from a two-goal deficit only to fall in overtime 3-2 against San Jose State. Davidson is predicted to finish seventh in the 2007 Southern Conference, and senior forward Robby Hoak was voted to the preseason all-conference team. This will be the first meeting between the two programs.
IMBROGNO HEATS UP ON OFFENSE
The Flyers' leading returning scorer continues to excel on the offensive end as senior Tyler Imbrogno leads all UD players with four points thanks to a goal and two assists. Imborgno tallied the game-winner against Sacramento State to go with an assist. In his last four regular season games, Imbrogno has six points with two goals and two assists.
Imborgno's recent success should be no surprise. Earlier this year Imbrogno earned a spot on the 2007 Atlantic 10 preseason men's soccer All-Conference team, as selected by the league's head coaches. After not registering a point in his first two seasons with UD, Imbrogno broke out in a big way in 2006. Last season Imbrogno scored three goals and two assists for eight points in 13 games. Off the field Imbrogno enjoyed success as well after being named to the 2006-07 Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll.
CAREER WEEKEND FOR FLYERS
With the wins against Sacramento State and St. Francis, a couple of Flyers reached career highs after two games in 2007. Junior Simeon Zaprianov's game-winning goal on Sunday was his first as a Flyer. Senior Zac Gibbens' two victories in net doubled his total from last season and senior Tyler Imbrogno's two assists matched his total from all of 2007.
TOMMY TUTONE DIALS IN
One of the top freshmen to chip in early this season has been defender Tommy Watkins. On Sunday, Watkins recorded his first career assist in the Flyers' 2-1 win over St. Francis. Since preseason camp concluded, Watkins has earned a spot on the back line and has helped solidified a defense along with sophomores Sonny Renner, Ryan Handbury and Randy Dennis.
QUICKLY ABOUT DAYTON
This is the 51st season of Dayton Flyers men's soccer. UD showcases an all-time record of 377-344-53 (.540) in 2007. The Flyers have had a winning record in 8 of the last 10 seasons and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and 1998. Head coach Dennis Currier ranks sixth on the Flyers' all-time list in coaching victories with 19, just five behind John Schleppi.
UD PICKED TO FINISH 7TH IN A-10
UD men's soccer was selected to finish seventh in the A-10 behind 2006 A-10 Champ Rhode Island, Saint Louis, Charlotte, Richmond, Duquesne and Xavier. Dayton will look to improve upon the prognosticators in order to earn itself a spot in the six-team 2007 Atlantic 10 Men's Soccer, scheduled for its own Baujan Field from Nov. 15-18.
FLYERS DASH THE RED FLASH 2-1 ON SUNDAY
Junior Simeon Zaprianov's second half goal proved to be the difference as the Flyers upended the St. Francis Red Flash 2-1. Sophomore Alex Torda added a first half goal, while senior Zac Gibbens made three saves to earn the victory.
Torda, who had a goal and an assist over the weekend, got the UD offense going after connecting on a one-timer off a feed from freshman Tommy Watkins. In the second half, Zaprianov connected on a similar play after senior Tyler Imbrogno worked through the Red Flash zone to create the Flyers' second goal.
IMBROGNO STEALS THE SPOTLIGHT IN 2-1 VICTORY
Senior Tyler Imbrogno scored a goal and an assist, sophomore Isaac Kissi recorded his first collegiate goal in a Flyer uniform and strong midfield play throughout the match gave UD a 2-1 opening night win against the Sacramento State Hornets. Dayton out shot Sacramento State 17-6 with senior Zac Gibbens making two saves in net for UD.
POPELLA PROPELS FLYERS TO TIE AGAINST KENTUCKY
Sophomore Jeff Popella provided the offensive punch that lacked in Dayton's first preseason game against Tulsa when he capitalized on a feeds from sophomore Ryan Handbury and freshman Josh Albers in the 71st minute to force a 1-1 tie against the Kentucky Wildcats. Senior Zac Gibbens came up with a critical one-handed save to preserve the tie as the Flyers finished the preseason 0-0-2.
DEFENSE DELIVERS AGAINST TULSA
Behind the play of defenders Ryan Handbury, Sonny Renner, Randy Dennis and Tommy Watkins, the Flyers played to a 0-0 tie against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Defensive consistency was the key to success for the Flyers in 2006 and in the first exhibition it looked like that trend would continue. When the team struggled to find the net, the Flyers had to rely on the versatility and grit of their back line to keep them in games, much like the Tulsa contest.
LENDING A HELPING HAND-BURY
As one of the keys to the Flyer defense, sophomore Ryan Handbury looks to improve on a stellar freshman season in which he earned Atlantic 10 Honorable Mention honors. Handbury was one of three Flyers to start all 17 games in 2006 and scored a goal on eight shots and had an assist.
INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF FLYERS
UD has an international flavor on the 2007 roster with six players from overseas. The European players include graduated senior Daniel March and sophomore Ryan Handbury who hail from the United Kingdom, graduated senior Gary Long from Ireland, Simeon Zaprianov from Bulgaria and Florian DeCamps from France. Sophomore Isaac Kissi is in his first season with UD and is from Ghana.
FLYER TRIO DELIVERS IN YOUTH SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Flyers Randy Dennis, Alex Torda and Sonny Renner helped their squad win the 2007 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, the country's most prestigious national youth soccer tournament. The Flyer trio helped their team, the Dallas Texans, achieve its third consecutive championship with a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Magic. The 2007 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is the country's most prestigious national youth soccer tournament, providing over 185,000 players on more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer's 55 state associations the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition.
MASTERS OF THEIR DOMAIN
Since 1992 the Flyers have excelled at Baujan Field with an 85-34-9 record, good for a .734 winning percentage. Dayton has played well in Baujan Field home openers as well going 9-4-2 in that span. Last season UD went 4-3-1 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 GAMES AT BAUJAN HIGHLIGHT 2007 SCHEDULE
Rivalry games against Xavier and Wright State and five consecutive home games to conclude the regular season remain on the 2007 Dayton Flyers men's soccer schedule.
The Flyers released their schedule with 20 regular-season contests with nine home games at Baujan Field. Dayton will play two teams, Rhode Island and UNC Greensboro, which advanced to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Senior Day will take place at the regular-season finale against Duquesne.
UD TO HOST 2007 ATLANTIC 10 MEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT
The 2007 A-10 Men's Soccer Championship will be held on November 15-18 at Baujan Field in Dayton, Ohio. This will be the fifth A-10 soccer championship held at Baujan Field since opening in 1992. Baujan Field has played host to a number of post-season soccer events. The Atlantic 10 Women's Soccer Championship was hosted here in 1998 and again in 2002, with the Men's Championship being played in 1996 and 1999.