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    Northwestern Opens 2010 Home Season With Lakeside Classic

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Peter O'Neill was named to the all-tournament team at the NIU adidas/Magnuson Inn Invitational last weekend.
    Peter O'Neill was named to the all-tournament team at the NIU adidas/Magnuson Inn Invitational last weekend.

    Sept. 15, 2010

    Northwestern (2-2-0) vs. Gonzaga (2-1-0)
    Friday, Sept. 17, 2010
    Lakeside Field (2,000)
    Evanston, Ill. • 7:30 p.m.
    Streaming Video:
    Wildcats All-Access
    In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE

    Northwestern (2-2-0) vs. Holy Cross (1-2-1)
    Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010
    Lakeside Field (2,000)
    Evanston, Ill. • 2 p.m.
    Streaming Video:
    Wildcats All-Access
    In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE

    Northwestern Game Notes (PDF)

    EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern's men's soccer team kick off its 2010 home season this Friday and Sunday as it hosts the annual Lakeside Classic at Lakeside Field. The Wildcats take on Gonzaga at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Holy Cross at 2 p.m. Sunday. Those who can't make it out to Lakeside Field can watch Northwestern's matches via Wildcats All Access on Gametracker will be available for all four matches of the Classic.

    The neutral games feature Northern Illinois facing Holy Cross at 2:30 p.m. Friday and Gonzaga squaring off against Northern Illinois at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Matches involving the Northwestern women's soccer team precede the Wildcat men on Friday (5 p.m. vs. Illinois State) and follow them on Sunday (4:30 p.m. vs. Notre Dame).

    Northwestern posted a pair of convincing victories in DeKalb, Ill., last weekend to win the Northern Illinois adidas/Magnuson Inn Invitational. The Wildcats scored three second-half goals to break open a close match against Cleveland State on Friday for a 4-0 win. Following a first-half own goal, junior Oliver Kupe scored twice within a minute span early in the second half before Jack Hillgard notched the final score. Freshman Layth Masri posted a pair of assists and Drew Kotler earned the shutout in goal.

    NU wrapped the tournament on Sunday by taking down previously undefeated Oregon State, 4-1. Freshman Lepe Seetane got the scoring started in the opening half by notching his first collegiate goal. The Wildcats earned a penalty kick in the first minute of the second half and senior Matt Eliason scored to record his 31st career goal, setting the school career record. Like Seetane, Jarrett Baughman and Nick Gendron also recorded their first career goal in the match. Kupe was named the tournament MVP, while Eliason, Masri and Peter O'Neill were also named to the all-tournament team.

    Scouting Gonzaga
    The Bulldogs (2-1-0, 0-0-0 WCC) dropped their season opener to UC Irvine before bouncing back to win a tournament at Seattle University last weekend, defeating the hosts 2-1 before topping UIC 1-0. Senior forward Nick Love is the team's top returning scorer, posting four goals and four assists for 12 points in 2009. Gonzaga was picked to finish seventh in the West Coast Conference in a preseason poll of the head coaches. Einar Thorarinsson is in 16th season as head coach of the Bulldogs.

    Scouting Holy Cross
    The Crusaders (1-2-1, 0-0-0) are coming off a scoreless tie with San Diego after defeating Stony Brook 3-0 to take the team title at the Dartmouth Classic. Jonathan Werth, who was named offensive MVP of the tournament has had a hand in all four of Holy Cross' goals so far this season, notching one goal and three assists. Kyle Miller was voted as Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row, while Holy Cross was picked to finish sixth in the conference. Ted Priestly is in his second season as head coach of the Crusaders.

    Series Information
    Northwestern will be meeting both Gonzaga and Holy Cross for the first time in program history.

    Preseason Accolades
    Senior forward Matt Eliason has been recognized by multiple organizations heading in his final season. The Lombard, Ill., native is a preseason second-team All-America selection of College Soccer News and is one of 39 individuals named to the watch list for the Hermann Trophy which honors the nation's top collegiate soccer player. He has also been named a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award which recognizes senior student-athletes for their contributions both on and off the field. Northwestern has two other individuals who are returning award winners. Defender Chris Ritter and midfielder Kyle Schickel were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team last season, while Schickel was an honorable mention pick to the Top Drawer Soccer All-Freshman Team.

    Eliason's Stellar Career
    Matt Eliason has earned his preseason recognition based on what he has accomplished over his first three seasons at Northwestern. A two-time All-Big Ten first team and the All-Great Lakes Region second team selection, he surpassed Jonathan Hall (1986-89) for first in school history with his 31st career goal against Oregon State Sept. 12. Eliason's 13 goals last season led the Big Ten. He also ranks third all-time at Northwestern with 73 career points, 7 behind career leaders Hall and Gerardo Alvarez (2003-06). Eliason has also gotten the job done in the classroom as he was named an ESPN the Magazine Second-Team Academic All-American and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar a year ago.

    Head Coach Tim Lenahan
    Tim Lenahan is in his 10th season at the helm at Northwestern as the architect of a program that has undergone a metamorphosis from an also-ran to a national power. He inherited a program that had won a total of four Big Ten matches in the 10 years prior to his arrival and turned it into one that has reached the NCAA tournament in five of the last six seasons. The team has advanced to the NCAA quarterfinal round two of the last four years. Lenahan has an 94-70-23 record at Northwestern and is 220-138-41 mark in 21 seasons overall as a head coach. A 1983 graduate of Richard Stockton College, Lenahan coached for eight seasons at his alma mater and for three more at Lafayette before coming to Evanston.

    The Drive for Five
    Last year's senior class at Northwestern accomplished something no other class in school history had done--reach the NCAA tournament each year of their collegiate careers. The Wildcats are seeking their fifth straight NCAA appearance in 2010. All five of Northwestern's NCAA tournament appearances have come in the last six seasons (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). This year's group of seniors has 40 career victories to their credit, 12 shy of the school history of 52 wins set by last year's squad.

    Wildcats Picked Third in Big Ten Preseason Poll
    Northwestern has been tabbed to finish third in the Big Ten this season in a preseason poll of the conference's head coaches. Defending champ Ohio State is the coaches' choice to remain atop the Big Ten, followed by Indiana. Penn State tied the Wildcats for third place, followed by Michigan State, Michigan and Wisconsin, respectively. The second-place finish by the Wildcats' a year ago was the best in program history. NU's 3-2-1 mark against conference foes matched the 2004 and 2007 teams for the program's best Big Ten record in a season.

    Kupe's Contributions
    Senior forward Oliver Kupe has established himself as one of the top table-setters in the Big Ten. A year ago, Kupe tied for the conference lead with seven assists. Kupe contributed his first helper of the season Sept. 5 on Reed Losee's goal against Saint Mary's (Calif.). He also notched his second career two-goal game last Friday in a 4-0 win over Cleveland State en route to being named the MVP of the NIU adidas/Magnuson Inn Invitational.

    Jones Joins Coaching Staff
    Neil Jones has joined the Wildcats' coaching staff this season, replacing Andy Fleming who left to become the head coach at Xavier. A 2004 graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Jones spent the last four years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, including helping the Gauchos to the 2006 national championship. A four-year starter at UCSB, Jones amassed 28 goals and 16 assists during his career. A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Jones has also spent time competing at the national level as a member of New Zealand's National Team. He earned his first two full international caps playing for New Zealand's World Cup squad and scored two goals in the Kiwi's win over Tahiti during the OFC Nation's Cup. Jones also played in the U-17 World Cup Finals with the national team.

    Up Next...
    Northwestern opens its 2010 Big Ten season Sunday, Sept. 26 as it travels to East Lansing, Mich., to take on Michigan State. Kickoff is set for noon Central time. Big Ten Network is televising the contest later that afternoon at 4 p.m.