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August 26, 2008

USI men's soccer starts regular season Thursday
Eagles also start GLVC action Monday versus KWC

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana men's soccer team kicks off the 2008 regular season with a four-game homestand beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday when it hosts Marian College at Strassweg Field. The Screaming Eagles finish the Labor Day weekend and the first half of the homestand by starting GLVC action against Kentucky Wesleyan College at 6 p.m. Monday.

USI starts the season with four straight at Strassweg for the first time since 1993.

The Eagles enter the regular season after a much improved showing in their final exhibition game in which they tied Sewanee -The University of the South, 2-2. USI sophomore forward Simon Rawnsley (England) led the way for the Eagles, scoring both of the squad's second half goals.

USI, which was 6-12-1 last year, hopes to replicate the start it had a year ago when it won three of the first four matches. The squad began 2007 with a 2-1 win over 25th-ranked Mercyhurst College.

The top returning players for the Eagles are sophomore midfielder Michael Simcock (England), who had 11 points on two goals and a team-high seven assists a year ago, and junior midfielder/forward Paul Hutchens (Libertyville, Illinois), who had 10 points on four goals and two assists last season. USI also hopes to see an improved offensive presence with Rawnsley, who redshirted last season.

Marian also opens the 2008 campaign on Thursday. The Knights were 9-7-3 last fall, bowing out of the Mid-Central College Conference tournament in the second round. Junior midfielder Gabriel Peters is the Knights' top-returning scorer after posting 18 points last season on seven goals and four assists.

Thursday's match-up will be the second time USI and Marian have met in men's soccer. The Eagles won the inaugural meeting, 4-3, in 2000 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

KWC starts its regular season against USI on Labor Day. The Panthers struggled last season, going 0-13-0 in the GLVC and finishing the year 4-15-1 overall. Returning to lead the Panthers is senior forward Joe Williams, who had eight points last fall on a team high four goals.

USI leads the all-time series with KWC, 18-6-2, after winning, 1-0, last fall in Owensboro, Kentucky. The Eagles have won the last six meetings with the Panthers.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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