Aug 16, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill.- The 2013 Northwestern men’s soccer team kicks off its season on Tuesday, Aug. 20 with the first of two exhibition matches when the Wildcats welcome Oakland University to Lakeside Field at 7 p.m. CT.
At 6 p.m., the team will host a Meet-And-Greet with fans, where fans can collect autographs and get to know the team. Fans in attendance will also receive a free team poster and schedule.
Admission is free for Tuesday’s exhibition and Meet-and-Greet.
The Wildcats assistant coaches will also host a clinic, teaching the fundamentals of soccer. To register for the clinic, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildcat alum Matt Eliason will also appear at the event to sign autographs and greet fans.
Eliason rose to international fame following his performance in the Messi & Friends charity exhibition match at Soldier Field in July. Playing against some of the best in the country Eliason, who has never played professional soccer, stole the show with his bicycle-kick goal, one of two goals he scored in the match. The YouTube video of his bicycle-kick goal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yewzbhF9a0k ) is over three million views and following the game, a variety of national and international publications wrote about his performance. (http://www.nusports.com/sports/m-soccer/spec-rel/070913aad.html ) He has been invited to an Major League Soccer trail.
NU enters the 2013 season ranked No. 19 in the preseason NSCAA poll as eight starters and 16 letterwinners return from last year’s Big Ten championship squad.
Named 2012 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten selection, senior midfielder Chris Ritter returns for his fifth season. He’s already earned accolades for 2013, being named to the College Soccer News Preseason All-America Third Team.
Other returning All-Big Ten honorees include junior goalkeeper Tyler Miller, junior defender Nikko Boxall and sophomore forward Joey Calistri, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He joined sophomore midfielder Cole Missimo on the All-Freshman Team.
Head coach Tim Lenahan, now in his 13th season at NU, also welcomes six freshmen to the squad in 2013.
This marks the first season for the Golden Grizzlies competing in the Horizon League. Coming from the Summit League, the men’s soccer team won that conference’s 2012 regular season title.
Following Tuesday’s match, the ‘Cats wrap up their exhibition schedule facing Louisville on the road on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. CT.
NU opens the regular season hosting UC Santa Barbara at Lakeside Field on Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. Single-game and season tickets for the 10 home matches at Lakeside Field are now available for purchase online or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE.
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