Weekend Soccer Preview
Men's and women's teams prepare for a busy weekend
September 5, 2002

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The road trip continues for both the Virginia Tech men's and women's soccer teams this weekend, as both teams travel to North Carolina. The women's team will be playing in the Charlotte 49ers' weekend tournament with matches against East Carolina and Charlotte. The men's team will kick off against Winthrop on Saturday and head to Gardner-Webb for a Sunday match.

Check out the preview for this weekend's matches as hokiesports.com takes an inside look at the 2002 season.

2002 Updated Women's Soccer Stats
Upcoming Games:
Charlotte 49ers Weekend Tournament (Charlotte, N.C.)
Fri.  Sept. 6  vs. East Carolina  5 p.m      Tech leads series 2-0-0
Sun.  Sept. 8  at Charlotte       2:30 p.m.  UNCC leads series 2-0-1

TRAVELING TO THE TARHEEL STATE: For the third consecutive season the Hokies will be participating in a weekend tournament held in North Carolina. This weekend, Tech will face East Carolina on Friday night at 5 p.m., followed by a match against host Charlotte on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Last year, in a weekend tournament in Greensboro, N.C., the Hokies claimed victories over the host team, UNC-Greensboro, and Western Carolina. In 2001, Tech played in the Wake Forest/Nike Invitational, losing to Missouri and Wake Forest.

CHEYNET AT THE HELM: When former head coach Sam Okpodu resigned on Sept. 3 to accept the position chief coach for the Nigerian national senior women's team, the Hokies were fortunate to have the luxury of filling the position with a coach with 28 years of experience. Jerry Cheynet, who will serve as interim head coach through the 2002 season, remains a fixture in Virginia Tech Athletics. Cheynet took over as the men's head soccer coach in the program's third season and stayed at the helm from 1973-2001, compiling 238 victories. He guided the Hokies to four Metro Conference Tournament titles, a record-setting 14-win season in 1997 when he was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, and a BIG EAST Tournament appearance in the program's inaugural season of conference play. In addition to his soccer coaching duties, Cheynet also served as head coach for Tech's golf team (1980-83), leading the team to a state title in 1980, and for the wrestling program (1975-95). He was named Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 1993 after the Hokie grapplers captured the CAA championship.

ROAD TRIP: Tech will play nine of its first 10 games away from home. The Hokies enter this weekend's tournament 0-2 after falling to No. 7 Notre Dame, 5-0, and CAA preseason favorite, William & Mary, 4-0. Following the Hokies' expedition to North Carolina, Tech will return to Blacksburg, and prepare for a tournament in Miami, Fla., where it will face Miami and Florida State.

2002 Updated Men's Soccer Stats
Upcoming Games:
Sat.  Sept. 7  at Winthrop      4 p.m.   Series tied 2-2-0
Sun.  Sept. 9  at Gardner-Webb  2 p.m.   Tech leads series 2-0-0

RETURN TO NORTH CAROLINA: This weekend, the men's soccer team will return to the Tar Heel state for the second time this fall. The Hokies traveled to Winston-Salem on Aug. 24 for an exhibition match against Wake Forest. Tech won the contest, 1-0.

THE FINISHING TOUCH: In the first two matches of 2002 junior Bobby O'Brien has recorded five points (two goals, one assist). O'Brien led the Hokies' offensive charge against Liberty with a goal and an assist. With Tech holding on to a 2-1 advantage, O'Brien sealed the victory with his second goal of the season in the 59th minute. Although the Hokies struggled to finish on the offensive end in their season opener against Old Dominion, O'Brien provided the finishing touch to assure the victory against Liberty. O'Brien, a native of Williamsburg, Va., enters the weekend with 27 career points (10 goals, seven assists).

GERMAN CONNECTION: Two newcomers to this year's squad hail from Germany, the native country of head coach Oliver Weiss. Originally from Burgdorf, Germany, Weiss recruited Lasse Mertins and Peer Rogge to Blacksburg. Both Mertins and Rogge join the Hokies with international playing experience. Mertins, a 24-year old junior, has joined the program for two seasons while working on his master's degree. He played the last two years in the German 4th division with Rotenburger RV. Rogge, a freshman midfielder, has already been recognized by CollegeSoccerNews.com as one of the "Freshmen to Watch in 2002." Last season, Rogge played attacking midfield for his 5th Division club, TSB Flesnburg.

BEASTS OF THE EAST: The BIG EAST conference is living up to the preseason hype as being one of the nation's toughest men's soccer conferences. The BIG EAST is the only Division I conference to place six teams in the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America Top 25 polls. The Hokies open conference play on Wednesday, Sept. 18 when they host West Virginia.

WEISS EARNS FIRST VICTORY AT TECH: In his second game at the helm, head coach Oliver Weiss earned his first career coaching victory with a 3-1 win over Liberty.