DURHAM, N.H. - One of the premier college soccer tournaments in the Northeast will take place this weekend as the University of New Hampshire hosts the 12th Annual Nike Fall Soccer Classic September 2-3. On Sunday, September 2, Hartwick faces Vermont at 12:30 while UNH plays Oneonta State at 3 p.m. Monday, September 3, the Catamounts will play Oneonta at 12:30 with the Wildcats facing Hartwick in the tournament finale at 3. All games are at Lewis Field on the UNH campus and admission each day is $5 with children $2.
New Hampshire returns 17 players and nine starters from last season's 6-10-0 squad. Last season's top scorer, senior Andy Karam (Schenectady, N.Y.) returns after totaling 5-3-13 last season. He was a second-team America East pick. Junior Doug Lawver (Doylestown, Pa.) and senior Shaun O'Neil (Wrentham, Mass.) will serve as co-captains this season. Lawver moves to the backfield after totaling 2-7-11 as a midfielder last season. O'Neil emerged as one of the top keepers in America East after posting a 1.41 GAA with three shutouts.
Hartwick returns 18 letterwinners from last season's team that finished second in the Atlantic Soccer Conference. The Hawks top three scorers return, sophomores Greg Victor and Rob Catana and junior Jonathan Westmaas. Junior keeper Randall Moate posted a 1.06 GAA and five shutouts last season. Hartwick coach Jim Lennox ranks 11th among active Division I head coaches in victories with 297.
Oneonta State returns 10 players from last season's 11-6-1 campaign. Junior Ryan Rummery returns as the Red Dragons' leading scorer after totaling 8-4-20 last season. Oneonta's third-leading scorer, Allister Wiltshire, also returns. Charles Benson and Jack Potter are expected to split the goaltending duties for Oneonta.
Vermont enters the tournament as the defending America East champions, returning 15 letterwinners from last year's 13-8-1 team. Senior forward Jamie Farrell will serve as co-captain along with Jason Allen. Farrell totaled 10-3-23 last season. The Catamount defense is anchored by 2000 America East Rookie of the Year Nick Azarian and sophomore Keli Helgason.
During the 11-year history of the tournament, New Hampshire has captured the title five times (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997). Other winners of the tournament have included West Virginia Wesleyan (1990), St. John's (1992), Bowling Green (1996), Bradley (1998) and Philadelphia (1999). Penn State captured last year's tournament after a thrilling 2-1 double-OT win over UNH in the tournament finale.
Vermont is making its seventh-straight appearance in the tournament, while Hartwick and Oneonta are making their first appearance.
Tournament Schedule Sunday, September 2
Hartwick vs. Vermont - 12:30 p.m.
Oneonta State at New Hampshire - 3:00 p.m.
Monday, September 3
Vermont vs. Oneonta State- 12:30 p.m
Hartwick at New Hampshire - 3:00 p.m.