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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Team heads to Ft. Wayne

Hoosiers to play 2 nationally-ranked teams at exhibition

Not many programs in college sports are as successful as IU men's soccer. Head coach Jerry Yeagley has taken the Hoosiers to the College Cup 14 times in 28 seasons and has led them to five national championships. They consistently rank in the top five in the country and have produced some of the most talented athletes in the sport. \nSenior goalkeeper Colin Rogers said the team takes the winning tradition very seriously.\n"Being a part of IU soccer is a great honor and great responsibility. I feel that everyone that plays here has deep respect for people who made the program what it is," Rogers said. "We all came here to contend for a national championship each year and set that as our goal each year." \nThis season looks to be one that will carry on that long streak of success, but many challenges will be found along the way. The No. 4 Hoosiers will step onto the field this weekend to face the first of those challenges as they travel to IUPUI-Ft. Wayne to play a pair of exhibition games in a weekend event that will be full of elite teams. But because they are exhibition games, none of the statistics or results will count toward the regular season. \n"These exhibition games are always a good opportunity to continue making changes and sorting out the mix of returning players and newcomers," Yeagley said. "We will face some good competition as each of these teams finished in the top 25 last year."\nFriday night, the Hoosiers will battle No. 17 South Carolina. The series between the two teams has been evenly matched during the years. IU has posted a 3-3-2 record against them. Saturday's game will be no easier as they face No. 19 University of Alabama-Birmingham. The Hoosiers have faced UAB only once before, in 1996. The teams scrapped to a 1-1 tie. \nThese games would be tough for any team, especially as a prelude to a highly competitive regular season, but the Hoosiers said they feel prepared for the challenge. Junior forward and National Player of the Year candidate Pat Noonan described the team's confidence.\n"This team has shown great potential thus far in two-a-day (practices)," Noonan said. "Without three key players in the lineup, we still have shown that we will be a top team in the nation throughout the year."\nThe three missing players will be a bit of a problem. During a ball handling demonstration at IU's annual youth summer camp in Bloomington, the Hoosiers' top returning senior midfielder Ryan Mack went down with a torn ACL and is questionable for the season. \nWhile participating in IU's first day of practice, highly touted freshman recruit Ned Grabavoy broke three bones in his foot and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks of action. Sophomore defender David Prall also suffered a broken foot. He had successful surgery last week and the Hoosiers hope to see him back in 4-6 weeks as well.\nDespite these setbacks, Senior back Josh Rife said he feels the team still has plenty of talent and depth.\n"I have seen a lot of positive things throughout the pre-season so far," Rife said. "I think that the team this year has a very solid starting 11, but, just as important, a strong group of players off the bench. I think that as the year goes on, the depth of the team will be a big asset"

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