Men's Soccer Kickoff Season Saturday
Aug 31, 2017
DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque men’s soccer team enter the 2017 season coming off the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth and were picked to finish third in the Iowa Conference by the IIAC head coaches.
The Spartans were picked third with 48 points, behind Loras with 61 and Luther with 55. The Spartans finished the 2016 season with a 13-6 overall record and finished second in the Iowa Conference with a 6-2 record in Iowa Conference play. Even while losing in the second round of the IIAC Tournament, the Spartans earned an at large bid for the NCAA Tournament, making the tournament for the first time in school history.
Despite not returning any of their five All-Iowa Conference selections, the Spartans return a wealth of upperclassmen. UD returns five starters and five other players who saw action in at least three games, three of those players played in at least eight games. Kyle Klatka, Matheus Dos Santos and Chris Rigby headline the returners list. Klatka, a defender, started 17 of the 18 games he played in, scoring two goals. Santos and Rigby, both midfielders, combined for 29 starts, eight goals, five assists and 43 shot attempts in 2016. Ivan Sanchez played a signifcant role off the bench, seeing time in 14 games and earning two starts.
With the loss of so many key players, UD will need to rely on members of the freshman class to step up. That freshman class includes 21 student-athletes, which includes three goalies competing for the starting positing along with two upperclassmen in Javier Martinez and Pat Openchowski.
"There are high expectations for the UD Men's Soccer program entering the 2017 season, said UD head coach Brad Johnson. “The Spartans will look to an experienced class of returners and an eager class of newcomers to continue our successful ways. The Iowa Conference will once again be very competitive and we are excited to get started."
The Spartans kick the season off on Saturday, September 2nd at home against Grinnell College at 1:00 p.m.
2017 Preseason Coaches’ Poll (2016 Records)
1. Loras (6) 13-5, 7-1 IIAC (IIAC Regular Season Champion)
2. Luther (3) 15-6-2, 5-3 IIAC (IIAC Tournament Champion)
3. Dubuque 13-6, 6-2 IIAC
4. Simpson 12-8-1, 5-3 IIAC
5. Wartburg 12-7-1, 5-3 IIAC
6. Central 11-7, 5-3 IIAC
7. Nebraska Wesleyan 7-7-3, 2-6 IIAC
8. Buena Vista 5-12-1, 1-7 IIAC
9. Coe 1-17, 0-8 IIAC