Head Coach Andy Fleming
Feb. 19, 2014
CINCINNATI - Coming off its fourth-straight season with double-digit wins, the Xavier men’s soccer team will kick off its preparations for the 2014 campaign when the spring schedule gets underway Saturday, March 22, against Michigan and Oakland and continues through the end of April with four additional friendly matches set against another a Division III opponent, a pair of Division two programs and former national champion Akron.
In addition to the Wolverines, Golden Grizzlies and Zips, XU will match up against Indianapolis (March 29), Thomas More (April 4), Cedarville (April 16) and the 2010 NCAA Champions Akron (April 26).
The Musketeers will take on U of M and Oakland at the Bucks College Challenge at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac, Mich., while the Akron matchup will be a 7:30 p.m. home match and will be the Down Syndrome Awareness Classic for Devin’s Team.
“Each spring we tailor our schedule to fit the needs of the team and help us shape our squad for the fall, said head coach Andy Fleming. “With that in mind, we added some variety to this year’s spring slate, allowing us to experiment with the many versatile guys we have. This also will allow us to immediately find some things out with a Big Ten opponent right off the bat and then tweak, build and grow along the way, with hope that we are ready to show favorably with Akron. We have a young and hungry group with lots of interchangeable pieces which makes this a bit of a reinventing effort, yet an exciting time as well.”
“Michigan and Akron are certainly national level teams while Oakland is always very organized with a sprinkle of international talent,” Fleming said. “We all saw this fall how good Cedarville is and they went 13-3-4 this season, while Thomas More and UI both competed in the NCAA tournament.”
U of M wrapped up the 2013 campaign with an 8-7-3 after falling to the Indiana Hoosiers, 2-1, in overtime in the opening round of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.
Oakland finished its first season in the Horizon League in impressive fashion as they earned a third-place finish during the regular season and won its first-ever Horizon League postseason match with a 2-1 victory comeback victory over Valparaiso. The Golden Grizzlies finished the season 7-7-5 with a 4-2-1 record in league play and made their seventh consecutive semifinals in the league tournament.
The UIndy men's soccer team ended its historic season with a 0-0 tie to Lewis in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional. The five-seed Flyers (12-2-5) advanced on in the tournament with a 4-3 advantage in penalty kicks. The Greyhounds, who finished the season 15-3-3 overall were the four-seed in their program-first NCAA appearance.
Thomas More finished the 2013 season with a 15-3-2 overall record as it won their fifth-straight Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship Tournament and advanced to their fifth-straight NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Cedarville, who finished the season 13-3-4 overall, including a 1-1 2OT draw with Xavier on Sept. 17, won the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship over top-seed Davis & Elkins. CU, who picked up the victory after winning on PK’s 4-3, had not won a league trophy since sharing the Mid-Ohio Conference crown in 1987 with two other schools. The Jackets last outright MOC championship was in 1979.
Rounding out the 2014 spring schedule is a match against the Akron Zips. UA captured Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament titles while posting an overall record of 17-4-1 during Embick's first year as head coach at UA in 2013. The Zips were playing their best soccer in the final third of the season – taking a 10-match unbeaten streak (9-0-1) into the NCAA Tournament. After posting a 3-2 victory over defending NCAA champion Indiana in the first round at home, Akron was denied a return trip to the NCAA Round of 16 after suffering a 1-0 setback in overtime at No. 9-seed Marquette.
Xavier finished 2013 campaign 10-7-2 overall (6-3-0 BIG EAST) and tied for second in points in the conference, narrowly missing out on first place by just one point on final day of season. The ten wins made them just one of 15 schools with 4 straight ten win seasons. They rank amongst the nation’s top 15 in total wins and NCAA appearances over the past four seasons, and are one of just seven schools with Top 25 MLS draft picks over the past two years.
2014 Xavier Spring Schedule
March 22 vs. Michigan (Bucks College Challenge; Ultimate Soccer Arena – Pontiac, Mich.), 4:50 p.m.
March 22 vs. Oakland (Bucks College Challenge; Ultimate Soccer Arena – Pontiac, Mich.), 6:30 p.m.
March 29 vs. Indianapolis, 12 p.m.
April 4 vs. Thomas More, 7 p.m.
April 16 vs. Cedarville, 8 p.m.
April 26 vs. Akron (Down Syndrome Awareness Classic for Devin’s Team), 7:30 p.m.