STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Men's Soccer team opens the 2011 season on Saturday, August 27th, against North Florida starting at 7 p.m. The new season dawns with renewed optimism following last season's 3-11-3 finish. In two preseason matches, Georgia Southern outscored its opponents 8-0.
Head Coach Kevin Kennedy's 2011 Eagles feature three seniors leading the squad. An all-conference selection as a freshman, Luigi Clendening (Augusta, Ga.) closes his career this season looking to add to his career total of seven goals. Senior goalkeeper Ryan Platt (Preston, England) started 11 matches last season and posted a 1.55 goals against average. The final senior, Alex Evert (Marietta, Ga.) joined the Eagles this season from Northern Illinois where he played 47 career matches.
The Eagles opened the preseason with a 5-0 win over USC Aiken as Clendening scored twice en route to the victory. The second match saw a 45-minute lightning delay, but even the weather couldn't stop the Eagles, who rolled to a 3-0 victory over Lander. Freshman David Vargas Masís (Cartago, Costa Rica) scored twice to finish the preseason with three goals.
The Southern Conference coaches tabbed Georgia Southern to finish seventh of eight teams in the annual preseason poll. UNCG was selected as favorite, earning six first-place votes.
Georgia Southern leads the all-time series against North Florida by a 4-3-1 margin and has two wins on the trot against the foe from Jacksonville. Last season, the Eagles downed the Ospreys, 2-1 at Eagle Field off two goals from Austin Steele.
North Florida enters the season following three exhibition defeats to Flagler (0-1), UNC Wilmington (0-3) and Rollins (2-5). Last season, the Ospreys were 3-12-0 overall with two conference wins over USC Upstate and Mercer.
The Eagles play four more road matches before returning home to face Presbyterian College in the 2011 home opener on September 14th at 4 p.m.
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