What's on Tap: Saint Louis opens its men's soccer season Friday, Aug. 24, against the No. 12 Indiana Hoosiers in the Billiken Classic. Game time at Hermann Stadium is set for 7 p.m. SLU concludes the Billiken Classic Sunday against Drake in a 3 p.m. kick-off.
Following the Action: Free live stats and subscription video of both SLU 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. Subscriptions to the live video are available through Billiken All-Access for $9.95 per month, or $79.99 for the year. To sign up, click here.
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.
Billiken Classic: The Billiken Classic gets underway at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, when Drake faces Cincinnati. The SLU vs. Indiana matchup follows at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Indiana and Cincinnati meet at noon, prior to the Billikens and Drake playing at 3 p.m.
Men's and Women's Doubleheader: Following the SLU vs. Drake matchup on Sunday, the Billiken women's squad opens its home season against Marquette. One ticket gets you in to all three games Sunday.
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 Indiana: The Hoosiers return eight starters from last year's team that went 13-4-5 and advanced to the round of 16 in NCAA Tournament play. IU is ranked No. 12 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire preseason poll and No. 11 in the CollegeSoccerNews.com preseason rankings. Three of IU's top scorers return, including sophomore Eriq Zavaleta, who led the team with 25 points (10G, 5A) last season. Goalkeeper Luis Soffner posted a 0.82 goals against average and a 12-4-5 record last season. Head coach Todd Yeagley, the son of longtime Indiana coach Jerry Yeagley, begins his third year at the helm of the Hoosiers.
Series History: The Billikens and Hoosiers, who are No. 1 (10) and No. 2 (seven) in NCAA men's soccer titles, respectively, have met 41 times on the pitch. While the two teams have played competitively since 1959, Indiana did not become associated with the NCAA until 1973. Since then, Indiana holds a 19-9-4 series advantage. The Billikens topped IU 2-1 in 2007, the last time the two squads met at Hermann Stadium.
Scouting Drake: The Bulldogs finished 11-8-1 a season ago and return five starters. In addition, senior Michael Thaden returns after sitting out the 2011 campaign. As a junior in 2010, Thaden, a preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference pick, scored four goals and added three assists. The top returning scorer from last year's squad is Thomas Schermoly, who contributed seven points (3G, 1A). Keeper Rich Gallagher appeared in five games last season with a 1.98 goals against average. Head coach Sean Holmes is in his 15th season at Drake.
Series History: The Billikens own a 3-1 series advantage, but Drake captured a 4-3 decision last season in Des Moines. At Hermann Stadium in 2010, the Billikens' Nick Maglasang scored with 57 seconds left in double overtime to lift SLU to a thrilling 1-0 victory.
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.