ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's soccer team will open its 2012 campaign on Saturday night when it travels to Norfolk, Va., for a 7:00 PM game against No. 23-ranked Old Dominion. Live video ($9.95) and live stats will be provided via links on NavySports.com(.)
Both teams went 1-1-0 in two exhibition games in preparation for Saturday's season opener and are meeting for the first time since the 2004 season.
HOW TO FOLLOW Live Video ($9.95) -- NavySports.com and ODUSports.com(.) Gametracker -- NavySports.com and ODUSports.com(.) Twitter Updates -- twitter.com/NavyAthletics (@NavyAthletics | Hashtag: #GoNavy)
The Midshipmen were picked fourth in the preseason Patriot League poll and had no players named to the preseason all-Patriot League squad.
Navy returns eight starters and 16 letterwinners from last year's team that went 7-7-5 overall and reached the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2001.
The Midshipmen return 88.0 percent (22-of-25) of their goal scoring and 83.6 percent (56-of-67) of their total point production from a year ago.
Navy lost to Binghamton, 3-1, and defeated La Salle, 3-1, in its two exhibition games. Four different players scored Navy's four goals.
Senior David Jackson (Forest, Va.) led Navy in points (14) and goals (6) a year ago.
Sophomore Joseph Greenspan (Westfield, N.J.) set a school record and led the Patriot League in shots attempted a year ago with 61.
The Midshipmen have held their opponents without a goal for the last 251:55, spanning three games dating back to last year. The Mids shut out Colgate and American in their final two games of 2011.
Navy is looking for its first win over a ranked opponent since a 1-0 stunner at 20th-ranked West Virginia on Oct. 16, 2007. Navy has lost three straight games to ranked opponents, all coming to ACC foes (Maryland, Duke and Virginia).
ABOUT OLD DOMINION
Old Dominion was selected to win the competitive CAA Conference race in its final year, before it departs for Conference USA in 2013. The Monarchs return nine starters after advancing the NCAA Tournament second round a year ago and enter this season ranked No. 23 in the country by the NSCAA.
ODU finished second in the country in scoring a year ago, averaging a whopping 2.40 goals per game.
The Monarchs are led by 2011 Hermann Trophy semifinalist Yannick Smith, who led the CAA and ranked sixth in the country in goals a year ago, scoring 34 points (16 g, 2 a).
However, it's not just Smith who scores for the Monarchs as Tim Hopkinson also returns after a stellar 2011, scoring 28 points (10 g, 8 a). Lastly, junior Gideon Asante tallied 23 points (7 g, 9 a), while pacing the squad in assists with nine.
Senior goalkeeper Victor Francoz is back after starting all 20 games, compiling a 1.38 GAA with a .754 save percentage with six shutouts. The Monarchs did give up 28 goals a year ago, an average of 1.40 goals per game, and allowed at least two goals 10 different times a season ago.
Saturday's meeting marks the ninth meeting between the two teams with ODU holding a 4-2-2 advantage. The two squads were scheduled to play last year, but Hurricane Irene forced the cancellation of the game as it ripped through the Mid-Atlantic in late August.
It will mark the first meeting since 2004, when the Monarchs defeated the Midshipmen 5-1.
Navy's last win came in 1996, a 4-3 decision in Norfolk. The Mids' other win came in the series' first meeting, a 2-0 decision in 1980.
Over the last seven meetings, ODU is 4-1-2 against the Midshipmen.
Navy returns home for a three-game homestand beginning Thursday, Aug. 30, when the Mids host Robert Morris for the home opener, beginning at 7:00 PM at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility. - Promotions for the Robert Morris game include: Make it a Navy Soccer Week (receive free admission to VCU game with ticket purchase) and Youth Night (All kids 18 and under receive $3 tickets). Check out the promotion schedule for all of the great Navy soccer deals all season long.
The Mids will then host VCU on Saturday, Sept. 1, also beginning at 7:00 PM. That game will be streamed online FREE of charge on NavySports.com (All-Access).
Navy closes out the homestand with a Saturday, Sept. 8, contest against a good High Point squad, also beginning at 7:00 PM.