WINTER PARK, Fla. (August 30, 2012) - Unbeaten in two exhibition matches, the 20th-ranked Rollins men's soccer team welcomes Embry-Riddle to Winter Park on Friday, Aug. 31 for its 2012 season opener.
The Tars and Eagles are set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Barker Family Stadium and Cahall-Sandspur Field. Fans can follow the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com, which includes live video, audio and stats. Android users can listen live on the Rollins Sports app - an Apple version will be released soon. All mobile users can access live stats at TarsStats.com.
Rollins is coming off a Sunshine State Conference Tournament championship season and third-consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II postseason. The Tars lost fours starters and 11 letterwinners, including the core of its defensive backline in SSC Player of the Year Justin Clark and All-America Jack Clifford. Rollins also has to replace one of the top offensive threats in recent years in Nick Sowers.
Veteran head coach Keith Buckley, now in his 22nd year at the helm, will rely on returners Keniel Baker in goal and forward Rafa Faria to lead the team. Baker is a three-year starter between the posts while Faria was the Tars leading goal scorer a year ago. Rollins' roster is dotted with 18 newcomers, including freshmen brothers Walker and Tucker Hume. The twin towers each had a goal in the Tars 2-2 exhibition draw against Webber International last week.
Rollins is ranked 20th in the NSCAA Division II poll and was picked third in the SSC preseason rankings.
Embry-Riddle was picked to win The Sun Conference and is ranked 24th in the NAIA preseason poll. The Eagles have one game under their belt, beating Lee University 1-0 last Saturday. Alan Vezza scored the match's lone goal and Nils Carlson earned the shutout between the posts.
Friday, August 31 is also National College Colors Day. Fans are encouraged to upload pictures of themselves wearing Rollins Blue & Gold on twitter @RollinsSports, Facebook (RollinSports.com) and using the hashtag #TARNation.