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Fifth-Ranked Tars Open Season on Thursday

Fifth-Ranked Tars Open Season on Thursday

Matchup:

No. 5 Rollins (0-0) vs. Anderson (0-0)

When:

Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 7 p.m.

Where:

Barker Family Stadium - Winter Park, Fla.

Rollins opens their 2014 regular season on Thursday, welcoming the Anderson Trojans to Winter Park. Fans that can't make it to the game can follow live stats and watch live video on the Geico Tars Sports Network on RollinsSports.com.

ROLLINS AT A GLANCE: The Tars advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals a season ago and were recently ranked No. 5 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll.

Rollins returns just six starters from last year's lineup. The Tars had five All-SSC First Team recipients last season, but only 2013 SSC Freshman of the Year Tosan Popo returns from that group. Coming off the bench last year and earning All-SSC Second Team honors was Grant Blackhurst. He returns for his junior season after leading the team with 11 goals last year to go along with five assists.

Also returning in senior Skyler Russell. Russell was amongst the nations leaders with eight assists as a junior.

In goal, the Tars have three new faces tasked with replacing Keniel Baker, the programs all-time leader in shutouts: Alec Gawronski, Julian Grundler and Parker Sweeney.

The winningest coach in Rollins soccer history, Dr. Keith Buckley enters his 24th year at the helm of the Tars program in 2014. His career record of 275-130-24 is the 34th best in the history of NCAA Division II men's soccer and ranks 21st among active coaches. In the past decade, Buckley's Tars have posted a record of 145-52-14, won four Sunshine State Conference Championships, three SSC tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament eight times.

ANDERSON AT A GLANCE: Anderson returns nine starters from last years team that advanced to the SAC Tournament final. With six seniors on the roster, AU boasts one of its most experienced lineup its had in several years.

The Trojans return top goal scorer, Andre Carle to the lineup, who was the only AU player to record double figures in goals for 2013, as well as 2013 All-SAC first team defender, Lars Zimmerman.

In goal, sophomore Bo Haug returns after recording six shutouts as a freshman. His 1.09 goals against average ranked fifth in the SAC a season ago, while recording 81 saves.

Michael Zion was announced as head coach on April 25, 2014 after being an assistant with the program since 2010. During his tenure as Anderson's assistant coach, Zion has won 50 matches, while appearing in the NCAA Tournament three of the four seasons.

THE SERIES: Thursday's meeting is the first ever between the two programs.

NEXT UP FOR ROLLINS: The Tars will travel to Flagler on Tuesday, September 9th at 7 p.m.

No. 3 Rollins Upset at Flagler
September 10, 2014 No. 3 Rollins Upset at Flagler