Hokies Kick Off Regular Season
Weekly notes for Aug. 28-Sept. 3
August 28, 2003

THIS WEEK IN HOKIE MEN'S SOCCER: Friday, Aug. 29 - Hokies vs. University of Delaware, 4:30 p.m., at the Radford Tournament / Sunday, Aug. 31 - Hokies vs. Mercer University, Noon, at the Radford Tournament

HOKIES OPEN REGULAR SEASON AT RADFORD TOURNAMENT: Virginia Tech, under the direction of second-year head coach Oliver Weiss, opens the 2003 season at the Radford Tournament. Tech faces Delaware on Friday and Mercer University on Sunday. The Hokies are not scheduled to face the host team during the tournament but are scheduled to battle Radford in Blacksburg on Oct. 22.

SERIES RESULTS AGAINST RADFORD TOURNAMENT FIELD: The Hokies have never faced Delaware or Mercer.


* The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens are looking to rebound from a 2-12-4 record in 2002. The season also saw Delaware finish 0-7-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Head coach Marc Samonisky enters his 11th season in Newark and has starting keeper Kyle Haynes returning in 2003. Haynes posted a 1.62 goals against average in 2002, playing in all 18 matches last season.

* The Mercer Bears are the defending Atlantic Sun regular season champions and return nine starters from a team that went 10-7-1. Mercer is led by eighth-year head coach Tom Melville. Melville is 70-75-7 during his career in Macon, Ga.

HOKIE NOTES: Virginia Tech returns a bulk of its offensive threats in 2003. Of the 32 goals scored in 2002, 28 of them came from the feet of returning players in 2003. Redshirt junior Ken Jonmaire leads the group of returnees as he notched eight goals and six assists in 2002 to lead the team with 22 points. Senior Bobby O'Brien tallied six goals and four assists last year and will be counted on for leadership. Sophomore Peer Rogge was named to the CollegeSoccerNews.com all-Freshman Team last season after he contributed 16 points. Senior Lasse Mertins and junior Bailey Allman also played key roles last year, scoring five goals each.

GOALKEEPER COACH IS A FAMILIAR FACE: The Hokies' new goalkeeper coach, John Sexton, is well versed on the history of Tech soccer. After all, he is one of the Hokies' all-time best netminders. Sexton played for Tech from 1994-97 and earned four letters as a goalkeeper. In his senior season, the Hokies were ranked as high as 14th nationally and set a school record for victories in a season (14). Sexton posted a 1.20 goals against average in his final season and is ranked sixth on Tech's career saves list. Sexton graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in finance. Following his final season at Tech, he went to England, where he played professionally for the Wrexham Football Club of the English Second Division in 1998-99.

EXHIBITION RECAP: Virginia Tech defeated High Point 2-0 on Aug. 23 in the team's lone exhibition match. Junior Bailey Allman gave Tech a 1-0 lead just 4:27 into the match after an assist from sophomore Charlie Howe. Later, freshman Mohamed Said was awarded a penalty kick at 79:54 and made it count. Junior goalkeeper Chase Harrison recorded the shutout, stopping five Panther shots. The Hokies out shot the hosts 12-11.

APPROACHING THE CHARTS: Senior Bobby O'Brien is inching closer to putting his name on several career statistics charts. The Williamsburg, Va., native needs just five goals to move into eighth place in career goals and needs five assists to move into ninth on that chart. He needs only 12 points to move into a tie for 10th on that chart.

UP NEXT: The Hokies will open up their new stadium on Sept. 5. Fourth-ranked Wake Forest visits for a 7 p.m. match. After that, Virginia Tech travels to Villanova on Sept. 7 for a 1 p.m. match against the Wildcats.

Hokie men's soccer notes will be updated each Wednesday throughout the season.