For Immediate Release
Soccer -- Aug. 31, 2012
Soccer Teams Kickoff Sixth NCAA Season Saturday
EUREKA, Ill. – The Eureka College men’s and women’s soccer teams will begin their sixth seasons at the NCAA Division III level on Saturday afternoon at Traister Field in Eureka. The men will host Spalding at 1 p.m., followed by the women’s opener versus Rockford at 3 p.m. Both squads will be looking to earn their first-ever bid to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament in 2012.
The Eureka men’s team, coming off a 4-12-0 season, will turn to a trio of four-year players for leadership this fall. Senior defender Kyle Oyer (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) enters his final collegiate season ranked fifth in program history with 54 matches played. He also ranks among the program’s top-10 lists in goals, assists, points and shots on goal.
Blake Baxter (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) will also enter his fourth season of collegiate soccer in 2012. Baxter, who will contribute as a forward and defender this fall, has played in 45 matches in his career. Nate Mullins (South Duxbury, Vt./Harwood Union H.S.) will become the first four-year goalkeeper in program history when he hits the pitch in 2012. Mullins is the all-time program leader with five career victories.
Juniors Brendan Carr (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East H.S.), Tom Moody (Arlington Heights, Ill./John Hersey H.S.), Tyler Mumm (Monticello, Ill./Monticello H.S.), and Kirby Wagner (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S./St. Ambrose) all return as starters from last season. Mumm is the all-time Eureka leader among goalkeepers with 2,243 minutes played. He needs 27 saves to break the Eureka record of 219 held by Garin Pisano. Moody shares the active Eureka lead with three goals, while Carr’s 33 shots rank ninth all-time at EC. A group of five newcomers will join the program for 2012, including local junior college transfer Todd Sluder (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central).
The Red Devils were picked to finish eighth in the SLIAC, according to a preseason coaches’ poll released by the league office earlier this week. Fontbonne narrowly edged defending tournament champion Greenville as the preseason favorite. The top four teams in the final regular season standings will qualify for the league’s annual postseason tournament.
Like the Eureka men’s team, the EC women’s squad returns a group of three four-year players for second-year head coach Robin Ramirez. Senior goalkeeper Sami Williamson (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central H.S.) enters her final collegiate season as the most experienced goalkeeper in program history, owning program records with 2,647 minutes played and 363 saves. She ranked seventh in the nation with 210 saves last season. Seniors Katie McLaughlin (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) and Maddie Zois (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central H.S.) also return for their fourth seasons. Both players have been regular contributors for EC since their arrival in 2009 and will likely climb to the top-5 on Eureka’s all-time matches played list.
Junior Liz Johnson (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth H.S.) returns with a clean bill of health after missing the final half of 2011 with due to an injury. She will contribute as one of the Red Devils’ most experienced defenders. Junior Kesli Blankenship (Lowell, Ind./Lowell H.S.), who set a Eureka freshman record with 12 goals in 2010, returns after sitting out a majority of the 2011 season.
A group of 11 newcomers will join the women’s program for 2012. Eureka will begin the season with 17 eligible players.
A preseason SLIAC coaches’ poll released Wednesday tabbed the Red Devils ninth. Defending champion Principia was selected as the preseason favorite. Eureka went 0-16-1 last season.
For More Information Contact: