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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

USI soccer teams open home schedule September 11

Contact for more information:
Ray Simmons
Sports Information Director
The USI men's and women's soccer teams kick-off the 2011 home schedule Sunday, September 11 at Strassweg Field when they host Northern Kentucky University for an afternoon doubleheader. The women's soccer match starts at noon, while the men's contest is set for 2:30 p.m.

Season tickets for the 16-match home schedule are $30 for individuals and $45 for a family pass. Individual matches are $5 for adults and $10 for families, while USI students, faculty, and staff are admitted free with a valid University identification. For more ticket information, contact the USI Ticket Office at 812/465-7165.

"It's great to have support from the Evansville and the USI communities," said USI Men's Soccer Head Coach Mat Santoro. "The atmosphere at games, when the stands are full, is something that motivates the players and creates excitement on campus. The teams look forward to sharing many successes with the USI students and the local community."

Women's soccer 2011

The women's soccer team enters the season hoping to challenge for a GLVC championship and earn a trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time since 1998.

The Eagles lost only one starter from last year's squad that had a 12-6-1 overall mark and a 10-3-1 GLVC record. The 10-3-1 conference record tied the Eagles for third in the GLVC during the regular season and allowed USI to host a GLVC Tournament match for the first time since 2000.

In addition to the returning 10 starters, USI also returns over 71 percent of its goal scorers from last year.

Head Coach Krissy Engelbrecht, who became the first USI women's soccer coach to earn GLVC Coach of the Year honors in 2010, is entering her ninth season. She has a pair of All-Region performers - junior forward Susan Ellsperman (Newburgh, Indiana) and senior forward Meagan Kempf (Evansville, Indiana) - leading the Eagles on the field.

Ellsperman finished 2010 as a first-team NSCAA All-Midwest Region performer after finishing third on the team with 15 points on three goals and a team-high nine assists. She also was named first-team All-GLVC and Capital One first-team Academic All-District V.

Kempf, who was a second-team All-GLVC and Daktronics All-Region player, led USI in scoring for the second time in three years in 2010. She had a team-best 20 points on six goals and eight assists. The senior forward also ranked sixth in the GLVC in points, while tying for 10th in goals scored.

"The Eagle fans propelled us into the upper third of the GLVC last season," said Engelbrecht. "With that type of support again this year, the team hopes to bring USI a GLVC championship this fall."

The women's team returns home on September 11 after opening the regular season with a pair of neutral site matches and the 2011 GLVC opener at Bellarmine University.

Men"s soccer 2011

The men's soccer squad is coming off its first winning season since 2003 after completing 2010 with a 9-8-0 overall mark. Playing in the GLVC, one of the toughest men's soccer conferences in the NCAA Division II, the Eagles posted a 6-8-0 mark in the league last year.

The Eagles improved in 2010 by winning six of the nine one-goal matches, compared to two of seven in 2009. The squad also was three victories away from hosting a first round match in last fall's GLVC Tournament. The Eagles remain one of the historically dominate teams in the conference with a league-best 10 GLVC titles.

Entering his third season, Santoro has led USI to a 15-18-1 overall record in his first two seasons and has a 2011 squad that boasts eight juniors and 12 sophomores. The squad has only two seniors: defender Danny Pratte (Florissant, Missouri) and transfer forward Mauricio Paniagua (Santa Cruz, Bolivia).

Junior forward Austin Andrekus (St. Charles, Missouri) is USI's top returning scorer with 13 points on six goals and one assist in his debut season with the Eagles.

The Eagles begin the regular season with a trio of road matches, including the GLVC-opener at Bellarmine before returning to Strassweg Field to play NKU.

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