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April 16, 2009

USI men's soccer adds five for 2009
First players to sign with Santoro

EVANSVILLE, Ind. The University of Southern Indiana men's soccer team announced the signing of five players to national letters of intent for the 2009 season. The five players are the first to sign with new USI Head Coach Mat Santoro.

The Screaming Eagles started between the posts with the signing of freshman goalkeeper Jeffrey Neidlinger (Carmel, Indiana). Neidlinger comes to USI from Westfield High School (Westfield, Indiana) where he was a three-year letterwinner in helping the Shamrocks to a pair of the sectional crowns (2007 and 2008) and a Hoosier Crossroads Conference title (2008).

In the midfield, the Eagles have added a pair of freshmen in Nolan Harvath (Fairmont, West Virginia) and Brandon Kim (Carmel, Indiana). Harvath comes to USI from East Fairmont High School (Fairmont, West Virginia) where he was a West Virginia first team All-State performer and the 2008 North Central Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Kim starts his collegiate career after winning two letters in soccer at Carmel High School (Carmel, Indiana) where he helped the Greyhounds to the Indiana state championship in 2006. He also was a member of the inaugural USSF Men's Developmental Academy Team for Indiana in the U-18 division.

USI has added a pair of freshmen forwards to add some firepower to the offensive side of the field in signing forwards Rush Dugger (Hanson, Kentucky) and Brian Hake (Olney, Illinois).

Dugger, who follows in his brother Michael's footsteps onto the Eagles' roster, comes to USI from North Hopkins High School (Madisonville, Kentucky) where he lettered in soccer, football, and basketball. He earned the Kentucky Golden Boot Award as a junior when he led the state in goals, was named first team All-State, and earned region most valuable player honors. Dugger also was named second team All-State as a senior.

Hake joins the Eagles after lettering in soccer, baseball, and basketball at East Richland High School (Olney, Illinois). The two-year team captain finished his career with 68 career goals and helped lead the Tigers to the district championships as a sophomore and junior. He also was named All-Decatur South in his final two seasons.

"All of these student-athletes have done well for themselves on and off the field and we are looking forward to having them here at USI," said Santoro. "As talented as this group is, it is the character and overall attitude of these individuals that allow them to make an impact and have great careers."

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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