DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire will play host to one of the top men's collegiate soccer tournaments in the Northeast as the 14th annual Nike Fall Soccer Classic takes place this weekend. The tourney kicks off Friday (August 29) with Iona facing Vermont at 2 p.m. and UNH taking on St. Joseph's (Pa.) at 4:30. Sunday, August 31, the Catamounts take on St. Joseph's at 12:30 p.m. while the Wildcats face Iona in the tournament finale at 3. The tournament is scheduled to be played at Lewis Field behind the Field House and adjacent to Cowell Stadium.
UNH, which has captured the tournament six times in the 13-year history of the event, including last season, returns 16 letterwinners, including eight starters, from last season's squad that won 10 games for the first time since 1995. Among the returnees for ninth-year head coach Rob Thompson are All-New England and All-America East first team selection Brendan Hankard (Glastonbury, Conn.), second-leading scorer Logan Lee (Racine, Wis.) (9-2-20) and junior goalkeeper Mike Vignola (Hudson, N.H.). The Wildcats return six of their top seven scorers from last season.
Iona returns their top seven scorers from a season ago including leading scorer Giovanni Treglia (9-2-20) as they look to rebound from an 0-18-2 2002 season. St. Joseph's returns nine starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's team including leading scorer Adam Duffy (5-3-13). Vermont is coming off its second America East championship game appearance in three seasons and brings back 16 players from last season including Tony Anderson (7-6-20).
During the 13-year history of the tournament, New Hampshire has captured the title five times (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002). Other winners of the tournament have included West Virginia Wesleyan (1990), St. John's (1992), Bowling Green (1996), Bradley (1998), Philadelphia (1999), Penn State (2000) and Hartwick (2001). Last season UNH captured the crown with a 2-1 win over Lafayette and a 3-1 triumph over Adelphi.
Vermont is making its ninth straight appearance in the tournament, while Iona made its only Classic appearance in 1991. St. Joseph's is also making its second appearance, having last competed in 1992.