Concordia University of Illinois pays a visit to Spartan Field Saturday, Aug. 31, in the season opener for both teams.
Match specifics: Start time is 3 p.m. for the battle between the Heartland Collegiate Athletic and Northern Collegiate Athletic Conferences. Live stats will be available at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics.
Spartan Shorts: The clash between the visiting Cougars of Concordia University of Illinois and Manchester University kicks off a 10-match home schedule and three-date home stand for the Black and Gold. Principia College of Illinois and Kentucky Christian visit Friday, Sept. 6, and Saturday, Sept. 7, to resume the current home set. ... The bulk of the returning experience for the Spartans this fall will be on defense. Sophomore Drew Vergonet of Elkhart, Ind., junior Josh Collier of Anderson, Ind., and senior Matt Suderman of Bluffton, Ohio, saw a lot of playing time last fall in back. Senior Matt Gray of Anderson, Ind., had similar experience on the field early in 2012 at the middle and transitioning to defense before an injury cut his season short. Junior Mark Zinser of Guilford, Ind., and senior Connor Seavers of Anderson, Ind., saw action in the back and midfield, too. That defensive unit will also need to assist a new face in goal for MU. "We've got (sophomore) Craig (Thacker) who saw some limited back-up time last fall, so it will be a rebuilding situation," Good said. "There are also two other keepers vying for that position."... Offensively, MU looks to replace 21 of its 27 goals scored from last fall. Suderman, whom head coach Dave Good feels will be one of the team's overall leaders coming in, and junior Austin Finley of Kokomo, Ind., each tallied two goals in 2012 for the top returning numbers. "It'll be a mixed bag early until the new players figure out where they fit in," Good said. "(Junior forward Loic) Youth (of Detroit, Mich.), (junior midfielder Zac) Hansen (of Muskegon, Mich.) and (senior midfielder/forward Bertin) Gisagara (of Mishawaka, Ind.) each have chances to step up and show us what they can do after having been behind that large senior class." Good also pointed to junior midfielder/forward Ellis Whitt of Bourbon, Ind., who did earn some playing time last fall, to add to the 2013 squad. Several individuals who joined the program in the spring – highlighted by the sophomore trio of midfielder Simon Coleman of Toledo, Ohio, midfielder/forward Luke Scheel of Lafayette, Ind., and midfielder Julio Luevano of Aguascalientes, Mexico, - should add depth as utility players.
Busy Weekend Ahead: MU welcomes Principia College of Illinois and Kentucky Christian to Spartan Field Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6 and 7.