Men's Soccer Opens 2012 Season Thursday Night at Cal State East Bay
HAYWARD, Calif. - The first athletic contest of the 2012-13 academic year begins Thursday night when the University of Colorado Colorado Springs men's soccer team opens the season at California State-East Bay. The game is The first game of the 2012-13 academic year begins Thursday night when the University of Colorado Colorado Springs men's soccer team opens the season at California State-East Bay. The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. MDT at Pioneer Stadium.scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. MDT at Pioneer Stadium.
The Mountain Lions will be playing in the state of California for the first time in available records dating back to the 1995 season. UCCS is also playing its first game against a current member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association since 2005, when the Mountain Lions fell 3-2 to California State-Monterrey Bay in the 86th minute.
UCCS was picked to finish fifth in the RMAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, which would take the Mountain Lions to the conference tournament for the second straight season. The team returns two All-RMAC picks from last season with second-team midfielder Brett Drefs and third-team defender Max Thomas.
Johnnie Keen begins his first season as the head coach this fall after the retirement last season of Henry Ellis. Keen is joined on the sideline with Brian Miller and former UCCS goalkeeper Adam Liszewski.
The Mountain Lions return seven starters from last year's squad. Apart from Drefs and Thomas, starting goalkeeper Brandon Costa returns after he finished 2011 with the fourth-best save percentage in the RMAC. He also ranked among the top goalkeepers in Division II last season in the three defensive statistical categories.
Drefs led the Mountain Lions last season in goals and assists, and is one of three returning midfielders along with Mash Shaswar and Gabe Causse. Drefs led the team in goals and assists last season, while Shaswar added four goals. On the defensive side, Thomas is joined by Taylor Ferguson and Colton Briscoe as returning starters from 2011.
The Mountain Lions will be one of two RMAC teams in action tomorrow. Colorado Christian opens the 2012 RMAC season at 4 p.m. at home with South Dakota Mines, a transitioning Division II member.
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