Men's Soccer Kicks Off Season Thursday

Men's Soccer Kicks Off Season Thursday

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio Dominican's men's soccer team kicks off its 2018 season with two games this week. 

The Panthers are eager to start their season after a scrimmage against West Liberty and wrapping up their preseason tonight against Capital. Ohio Dominican will travel to Urbana on Thursday for the Battle for the I-70 Cup, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET). The team returns to Columbus for their home opener on Saturday, taking on Indianapolis at 12 p.m. (ET).

About Ohio Dominican

ODU brings back over half of its roster from last season, with 17 players returning from last season's [8-9 (7-7)] campaign. Last year's co-leaders in goals scored for the Panthers return, with seniors Ryan Kasprzak (Hilliard, Ohio) and Jonathan Barnes (Winter Haven, Florida) back to lead the attack. Another key piece back for the offense is sophomore Jaxson Szabo (Worthington, Ohio), who played in every game last season with 13 starts, tallying 10 total points on four goals and two assists. Sophomore forward Cameron Christian (Pataskala, Ohio), who finished third on the team with 33 shots, also returns.

On defense, ODU will be led by senior goalkeeper Robby Frye (Cincinnati, Ohio), whose season was cut short by injury just two games into last season. Also coming back to help the defensive effort are Demarco Andrews (Kingston, Jamaica), a junior, and senior Yugi Yamada (Tsukaba, Japan), who helped the team record four shutouts and keep opponents to an average of just 2.12 goals per game last year.

About Urbana

Urbana was selected to finish fourth in the Moutain East Conference (MEC) as they return 10 players including seven starters from a year ago.

Last year the Panthers came away with a 3-2 victory over then No. 13 Urbana at home where Jaxson Szabo scored a header in the 89 minute to clinch the game-winner.

About Indianapolis

Indianapolis will open as No. 25 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll and are projected to finish second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

The Greyhounds bring back a veteran squad from a year ago as they only lost four seniors. Javier Steinwascher and James Jenkins come back to lead the Greyhound offense as they led the team in points a year ago.