Game 1: Towson (0-1) at Mount St. Mary's (0-0)
WHEN: Tue, Aug. 28, 2012, 4 p.m.
WHERE: Waldron Family Stadium, Emmitsburg, Md.
SERIES INFORMATION: Towson leads 21-13-3
LAST MEETING: Tied (1-1 2ot) 9-1-11
FIRST MEETING: Towson (3-0) 11-7-53
LAST MOUNT WIN: (1-0) 9-9-00
LAST TOWSON WIN: (2-0) 9-1-10
IN EMMITSBURG: Towson leads 9-6-1
opening kick... Mount St. Mary's opens up its 60th campaign in program history against in-state rival Towson on Tuesday at Waldron Family Stadium. It will mark the 38th meeting between the two programs dating back to the 1953 season with the Tigers holding a 21-13-3 advantage in the all-time series. Towson is 4-3-2 against the Mountaineers since Mount St. Mary's switched to Division I in 1989. The two teams ended in a 1-all standstill last year in Towson. The Tigers last win in the series was a 2-0 decision in the 2010 season opener while the Mount's last victory was a 1-0 decision in 2000.
about the tigers... Towson comes into the contest 0-1 after falling to Monmouth 1-0 on Friday. The Tigers, who posted a 3-11-2 overall record and 2-8-1 in the Colonial Athletic Conference last year, return its top scorer from last year in junior M Christian Hofer, who posted five goals and one assist for 11 points. Junior F Olakunle Banjo ranked second on the squad with four tallies and two assists for 10 points while senior M Phil Martinelli posted three goals and three assists for nine points. Freshman GK Felix Petermann made his collegiate debut against the Hawks and recorded four saves in the loss.
last time we met… Mount St. Mary's and Towson ended in a 1-all standstill on Sept. 1, 2011. Zoncher Dennis scored the Mount's goal in his collegiate debut while Peter Steve recorded five saves in the contest. Christian Hofer registered the Tigers' tally and netminder John Steele turned away 11 shots on the afternoon.
next on tap… The Mount remains at home on Friday night against VMI before hitting the road for the first time on Sunday at La Salle.
for starters... Mount St. Mary's is 28-23-8 in the season opener all-time and 5-5-2 under head coach Rob Ryerson. After winning back-to-back season openers in 2008 and 2009, the Mount has lost the last two season openers. The season opener against Towson marks the fourth time the Mountaineers have played the inaugural game of the year against the Tigers and the first since the 2010 season
home cooking to start the season… The Mount will open the season at home for the 26th time in program history and is 18-13-3 in those games. The squad will be at home for the third time in the 13 seasons under head coach Rob Ryerson and the third time in the last five years. The Mount is 5-5-2 in season openers and 1-1-0 at home under Ryerson.
off on the right foot... The Mount has 27 non-losing seasons in program history. When the squad opens the season with a win, the Mountaineers have gone on to post a .500 record or better 20 times while twice Mount St. Mary's has started a season with a tie and went on to notch a .500 record or better. The squad lost 1-0 last year to UMBC, but went on to post its first winning mark since 2003.
what's coming back… The Mountaineers return eight players that started at least 10 games last season. Graduate student Peter Steve played all 16 games in goal and registered 57 saves, a .781 saves percentage and a 0.96 goals against average. Offensively, the squad returns players that accounted for 16 of the team's 24 goals last season. Sophomore Zoncher Dennis paced the Mount with 11 goals and one assist for 23 points while junior Jimmy Ockford tallied three goals and three assists for nine points while sophomore Matthew Steele had a goal and three assists for five points and senior Alex Ockford found the twine twice. Senior Will Jagger, junior Koudzo Komlan, junior Patrick Wheeler and sophomore Mark Plaisance started at least 10 games in 2012.
preseason poll... The Mount St. Mary's men's soccer team has been tabbed sixth in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Preseason Coaches Poll. Monmouth, the defending NEC Tournament champions, received seven first-place votes to be selected as the preseason favorite. Fairleigh Dickinson picked up two first-place nods to rank second in the poll while Saint Francis (Pa.) took the final first-place vote to place third. Sacred Heart rounded out the top-4 while St. Francis (N.Y), the Mount, Central Connecticut State, Quinnipiac, LIU Brooklyn, Robert Morris and Bryant round out the 11-team poll. Bryant will be eligible for the NEC Tournament for the first time in team history after completing the five-year Division I transition last year.
zonked by dennis… Sophomore Zoncher Dennis burst onto the pitch last season to pace the NEC in goals (11), goals per game (0.69), points (23), points per game (1.44) and game-winning goals (6) while ranking ninth in shots per game (2.19). He became the sixth player in Mount Division I history to reach double digits for goals and his 11 tallies rank fifth on the Mount Division I single-season chart. Dennis tied a single-game program record when he scored four times against LaSalle on Sept. 24. He was named the NEC Rookie of the Year and nabbed a spot on the All-NEC first team. Dennis was recognized nationally by being named to the College Soccer News All-Freshman first team.
local rivalries... The Mount once again will have a local flavor to its schedule. The Mountaineers will open the season at home against Towson and then will host UMBC on Sept. 7 before traveling to Howard on Sept. 18.
new to the mountain... Head coach Rob Ryerson has added three new players to his 2011 squad. Dillon Johnson, Cy McNeill and Paul Curlings each joined the team for the 2012 season.
players from down under... Junior Patrick Wheeler (Newcastle, Australia) continues the rein of players from Australia. Chris Davis, the first Australian born player in Emmitsburg, graduated in May 2011 and Patrick's brother Chris graduated from the Mount in May 2012.
foreign flavor... Along with Patrick Wheeler, who hail from Australia, senior Will Jagger (England), junior Koudzo Komlan (Togo) and sophomore Zoncher Dennis (Ivory Coast) also came to the Mount from abroad.
the family continues to grow... Head coach Rob Ryerseon has coached six of the nine brother combos in Mount men's soccer history. Senior Alex Ockford and junior Jimmy Ockford will play together for the third-straight season. In 2011, the brothers of Dom and Joshua De Aragao joined the squad to become the ninth set of brothers to play men's soccer at the Mount.
home sweet home emmitsburg... Under head coach Rob Ryerson, Mount St. Mary's is 42-31-4 at home, including 6-1-0 this season, 4-2-1 in 2000 (Ryerson's first season) and 5-1 in 2003.
waldron family stadium... Mount St. Mary's is 23-17-3 at the Waldron Family Stadium. The squad moved into the state-of-the-art 1,000-seat Waldron Family Stadium for a full season in 2007. The Mount played three games in the venue in 2006, posting a 2-1 record. The Mountaineers lost their inaugural match at the stadium to Monmouth 3-0 on Oct. 15, 2006 before ending the season with wins against Sacred Heart (2-1) and Northeast Conference Tournament bound Fairleigh Dickinson (1-0 2OT).
friday night lights... Mount St. Mary's played its first two night games at Waldron Family Stadium in 2009 and have posted a 4-3-1 mark under the lights. The Mount will host VMI on Aug. 31 and Robert Morris on Oct. 26 under the lights in 2012
about the coach... Head coach Rob Ryerson is entering his 13th season at the helm of the men's soccer team at the Mount, posting a career record of 71-112-25. He has led the Mount to a 41-54-16 mark in NEC regular season games. Ryerson was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Mountaineers to a 9-10-1 overall mark and a 5-4 record in league play and the squad's first NEC Tournament appearance since 1999 in the 2008 campaign.