Thursday, August 27, 2009

College Matchday: Florida Memorial at Tampa

WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m.

NEED TO KNOW: The No.3-ranked Spartans open their regular season against NAIA opponents Florida Memorial. With nine of the 11 starters returning from last season’s NCAA Division II team, expectations of another run, and another national title, are being maintained at Pepin-Rood Stadium.

Florida Memorial is in its inaugural season, and won its opening game against the College of the Bahamas 6-3 on Sunday as Jayson Maltez scored a hat trick. The Pride may find scoring a little harder to come by against the Spartans and goalkeeper Ryan Thompson. The returning Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player of the Year had a 1.11 goals against average last season, posting eight shutouts.

The Spartans also welcome back SSC All-Conference first-teamers F Pascal Milien and D Dan Ingvarsson. Ingvarsson will team with Kyle Williams to form a strong backline partnership, while the Spartans will see greater experience throughout the side with the experience garnered by juniors Lister Warren and Mike Bethel and sophomores Ryan Griffin and Karl Swan a season ago.

The Spartans went 9-0-0 at home last season. Any result other than a UT win would be a major surprise.

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