Billikens Face No. 6 Akron, Memphis in Exhibition Action
What's on Tap: Saint Louis men's soccer has a pair of exhibition tilts on tap this week. First, the Billikens travel to Akron to face the No. 6 Zips Wednesday in a 6:30 p.m. (CT) kick-off. SLU returns to Hermann Stadium to meet Memphis Saturday. First whistle against the Tigers is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Following the Action: Live stats and free streaming video of both matches this week are available through links on SLU's official athletic website, www.slubillikens.com. The links may be accessed on the SLU men's soccer schedule page, or in the schedule box below the main photo on the homepage.
Season Opener vs. Indiana: The Billikens renew their rivalry with Indiana Friday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. at Hermann Stadium. The match is part of the Billiken Classic. On Sunday, Aug. 26, the Billikens face Drake at 3 p.m.
Tickets: Tickets for all men's soccer home games at Robert R. Hermann Stadium can be purchased at the gate, by phone at (314) 977-4SLU or online at www.slubillikens.com. Prices for single-game tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Groups of 20 or more receive discounted tickets for $4 apiece. Students with a valid SLU ID card receive free admission.
Last Time Out: Saint Louis scored late in each half to knock off Jefferson College 2-0 last Sunday in the exhibition opener at Hermann Stadium. The Billikens, who controlled possession for the majority of the match, received goals from sophomore Robbie Kristo and senior Jonathan Svigos. Freshman Dirk van der Velde picked up the assist on Kristo's game winner, while junior Alex Sweetin earned the helper on Svigos' insurance marker. The Billikens employed a different lineup in each half. Senior Michael Robson was the captain of the starting 11 in the first half, and Sweetin wore the captain's armband in the second.
About the Billikens: Saint Louis returns 11 letterwinners and nine starters from last year's squad. Five of the Bills' top six scorers return, including their leading scorer, sophomore forward Robbie Kristo (6G, 2A). Sophomore midfielder Raymond Lee notched four goals and an assist last season. Sophomore midfielder William Hidalgo's four assists were tied for second with senior midfielder Nick Maglasang. Junior defender Jon Roeckle and sophomore midfielder Kingsley Bryce registered five points (2G, 1A) apiece. Senior midfielder Michael Robson was an honorable mention All-Conference pick a season ago.
Scouting Akron: The Zips, who captured the 2010 NCAA championship and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament last year, open their exhibition season Wednesday against the Billikens. Scott Caldwell, who this week was named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List, is Akron's leading returning scorer with 23 points (6G, 11A) a season ago. The Zips are ranked No. 6 in CollegeSoccerNews.com's preseason poll and No. 10 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire preseason poll. Seventh-year head coach Caleb Porter returns eight starters and has 13 newcomers on this year's roster.
Scouting Memphis: The Tigers, who went 11-6-1 a season ago, blanked the University of Mobile 4-0 last Sunday in exhibition play. Junior Mark Sherrod, a finalist for the Hermann Trophy in 2011 and Conference USA's Player of the Year, led the nation in goals per game (1.06) last year. He finished with 42 points (19G, 4A). Liam Collins, who joins Sherrod on the Hermann Trophy Watch List, was tied for fourth in the nation with 11 assists while also leading Conference USA in that category. Head coach Richie Grant is in his 14th season at Memphis.
America SCORES: SLU's department of athletics and SLU soccer are proud to once again partner with America SCORES for the Great America SCORES Soccer Dribble, which will take place prior to the homecoming match vs. Central Arkansas on Sept. 29. America SCORES cities nationwide are joining forces to beat the Guinness World Record for the most soccer balls ever dribbled by a group at one time. To learn more about America SCORES and the soccer dribble, click here: www.americascores.org/soccerdribble.
Ranked Foes: The Billikens have five opponents on their schedule that are ranked in the NSCAA/Continental Tire preseason poll: No. 3 Creighton (Sept. 22 in Omaha, Neb.), No. 7 Louisville (Sept. 4 at Hermann Stadium), No. 8 Charlotte (Oct. 26 at Hermann Stadium), No. 10 Akron (Aug. 15 in Akron, Ohio) and No. 12 Indiana (Aug. 24 at Hermann Stadium). In addition, Xavier (Oct. 5 in Cincinnati) received votes in the poll.