Men's Soccer Hosts VMI On Friday Night; Mount Travels to La Salle On Sunday

Men's Soccer Hosts VMI On Friday Night; Mount Travels to La Salle On Sunday

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Game 2: VMI (0-1) at Mount St. Mary's (0-1)
WHEN: Fri, Aug. 31, 2012, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Waldron Family Stadium, Emmitsburg, Md.

SERIES INFORMATION: Mount leads 3-2-0
LAST MEETING: Mount (4-0) 9-1-09
FIRST MEETING: Mount (3-2) 8-31-96
LAST VMI WIN: (3-2 ot) 9-3-05
IN EMMITSBURG: Mount leads 2-1

opening kick... Friday's game between Mount St. Mary's and VMI marks the sixth meeting in the all-time series dating back to the 1996 season. The Mount has won two straight to grab a 3-2 edge in the series. The Mountaineers defeated the Keydets 3-0 in 2008 and 4-0 in 2009 after VMI won the two games in 2004 and 2005.

about the keydets... VMI comes into the contest 0-1 after falling 3-0 to NJIT on Aug. 24. The Keydets are coming off a 1-15-2 overall season and 1-7-1 in league play in 2011. Senior M Kip Zechman paced the squad with three goals and two assists for eight points last season. Senior D Davis Rochow posted three goals for six points while junior M Aaron White was third on the team with two tallies and an assist for five points. Senior GK Taylor Feuerstein, who had four saves in the loss to NJIT in the season opener, registered 91 saves, a 2.02 goals against average and a .765 save percentage in his junior campaign.

last time we met… Scott Phinith dished out two assists to help Mount St. Mary's score four times in the second half en route to a 4-0 season-opening victory against VMI on Sept. 1, 2009. Phinith dished out a helper to Alex Kem in the 77th minute and then handed out an assist on Ian Hendrie's  tally in the 84th minute. Eric Detzel and Steve Pathroff also found the twine while Chris Davis made four saves for the Mount. Brian Sowell turned away six shots for VMI (0-1) and Brian Harding recorded two shots in the loss.

Game 3: Mount St. Mary's (0-1) at La Salle (1-0)
WHEN: Sun, Sept. 3, 2012, 1 p.m.
WHERE: McCarthy Stadium, Philadelphia, Pa.

SERIES INFORMATION: Mount leads 1-0-0
LAST MEETING: Mount (5-0) 9-24-11
FIRST MEETING: Mount (5-0) 9-24-11
LAST LA SALLE WIN: n/a
IN PHILADELPHIA: Series Tied 0-0

opening kick... Sunday's game between Mount St. Mary's and La Salle marks the second meeting in the all-time series. Thanks to Zoncher Dennis tying the single-game program record with four goals, the Mount won the initial meeting 5-0 last season in Emmitsburg.

about the explorers... La Salle, who travels to Loyola on Friday, comes into the weekend 1-0 after defeating Drexel 3-2 in overtime on Saturday. Freshman M/D Joe Farrell posted the game-tying assist 36 seconds left in regulation and scored the decisive tally 45 seconds into the extra session against the Dragons. Junior M Jason Plumhoff notched the first goal of the game and dished out the assist on Farrell's game-winner while junior D Mike Stanton also found the twine in the win. Junior GK John McCarthy made six saves in the season opener.

last time we met… Zoncher Dennis set a new Mount St. Mary's Division I record by scoring four goals in a game to lift Mount St. Mary's past La Salle 5-0 on Sept. 24, 2011. Dennis became the first player in the program's Division I history to post four goals in a game with his sixth goal of the season in the 51st minute. Dennis also tied John Tallarido's all-time single-game mark on the afternoon. Tallarido registered four goals against Washington Bible on Sept. 12, 1980 and also accomplished the feat against Millersville on Sept. 16, 1981. Matthew Steele notched his first collegiate goal for the Mount while Chris Wheeler, Jimmy Ockford, Kyle Patrick and Ian Hendrie each recorded an assist on the afternoon. Peter Steve made two saves and earned his second-straight shutout. John McCarthy made two saves for the Explorers in the loss.

next on tap… The Mount returns home to host in-state rival UMBC on Sept. 7 and then will travel to Virginia on Sept. 11.

last time out… Towson scored in the 102nd minute to come away with a 2-1 double-overtime victory against Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday. Patrick Wheeler, who had seven career assists coming into the match, notched his first collegiate goal in the 50th minute off a helper from Mark Plaisance. Peter Steve made four saves for the Mount in the season opener.

wheeler scores first career goal… The Wheeler name has been known to find the back of the net with Chris Wheeler owning the Mount's Division I record for career goals. Junior Patrick Wheeler, playing in his first season without his brother, notched his first career goal in the season opener against Towson on Aug. 28. Patrick Wheeler had seven career assists in his first two years at the Mount.

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 opened the season at home against Towson (L, 1-2 ot) 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 42-32-4 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 23-18-3 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 71-113-25. 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.