Let's Get It Started
Aug. 29, 2007
LAS VEGAS -
The UNLV men's soccer team gets its 2007 season underway this weekend as they travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for the 2007 Marriott Kingsgate Xavier Challenge, hosted by Xavier University. UNLV opens Friday at 1 PM PDT against Pittsburgh, before finishing the weekend Sunday at 10:30 AM PDT against the host Musketeers.
2007 Rebel Men's Soccer Outlook:
The UNLV men's soccer team comes into the 2007 season with alot of questions surrounding its program. The good thing is that second-year head coach Mario Sanchez has things headed in the right direction following last year's 1-15-2 season.
Returning to the fold for UNLV are all three of their All-MPSF performers from last season. Lamar Neagle, a speedy striker from Federal Way, Wash., was named a first-team All-MPSF player after leading the Rebels with four goals and 11 points. Joining Neagle will be midfielder Nick Paterson. Paterson, a junior from Scotland, emerged as UNLV's playmaker in the middle, dishing out a team-best five assists. Paterson, along with the other all-league performer Mason Trafford, started and played in every Rebel contest a year ago. The Rebels will look for sophomores David Bryan and Calvin Bailey to make substantial strides after extensive action as freshmen. Bryan played in every game, starting all but one in the backfield. Bailey took over as the starting keeper mid-season in 2006, and will be looked upon as the anchor in what should be a much improved defense.
Sanchez is also hoping that with another year of experience, the returnees will be able to mentor the 11 newcomers on this years squad. Among those newcomers are Creighton transfer Andrew Friel, a solid backliner, and Daniel Cruz, a highly touted scorer out of Glendale, Ariz.
Scouting the Pitt Panthers: Last year, the Pitt men's soccer program advanced to the Big East Tournament for the first time in six seasons and captured the programs most league wins since the 2000 season. They finished the season with a 5-11-2 mark in 2006, but have many of their key players returning. Pitt returns four solid seniors in Pat Kerr, Matt Langton, Eric Jaeger, and Shawn Wildman. Wildman, who graduated last year, was granted an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA. All four players have played key roles in the success of the program and should form the nucleus for the 2007 team. Head Coach Joe Luxbacher also believes several other returnees will step forward and provide leadership. "Other players have stepped up too. Players like Samuli Ahola and Orane Gordon have emerged as leaders as well." Junior Jordan Marks is the favorite to get most of the keeper duties in 2007
Scouting the Xavier Musketeers: XU completed the 2006 season with a 7-10-2 overall record and finished sixth in conference with a 4-3-2 mark, earning a spot in the Atlantic 10 Championship for the first time since 1997. Seven of Xavier's top-ten scoring threats return for the 2007 campaign including 2006 All-Rookie Team selection Slavisa Ubiparipovic. Ubiparipovic was tied for second on the team with three goals, including a team-high two game-winners. Also returning to the XU frontline is senior forward Jon Enders. Enders was second on the squad with nine points on three goals and three assists. Xavier scrimmaged Butler August 25th, earning a 1-1 draw with the Bulldogs. Enders found the net for XU, while Adam Sokolowski and Ryan Engelmann both made one stop as they split time in goal for the Musketeers.
MPSF Releases Preseason Poll; Rebels Picked Fifth: UNLV men's soccer was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's preseason poll in a vote of the league's six head coaches. League head coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. The Rebels, who are entering their second season under head coach Mario Sanchez, received a total of 10 points in the poll. New Mexico received five first-place votes and 25 points overall to earn the top spot, followed by Denver (one first-place vote, 21 points), San Jose State (15 points), Sacramento State (12 points) the Rebels and then Air Force (seven points). UNLV opens its season on the road at the Marriott Kingsgate Xavier Challenge, playing Pittsburgh in Cincinnati, Ohio on Aug. 31. The Rebels' first home match is against Cal Poly at Peter Johann Memorial Field on Sept. 14 at 7:00 p.m. (PT), which is part of the UNLV adidas Invitational.
Follow the Rebels With Gametracker All Season Long: Thanks the marvel of the internet, fans that cannot make it to every match can still keep track of the Rebels with Gametracker at unlvrebels.com. For all home matches, a link will be created on the Rebels' homepage which will launch the Gametracker program for that day's contest. Make sure to log onto UNLVRebels.com for all the information on UNLV men's soccer.