ROCHESTER, Mich. - The Oakland men's soccer team will open the 2015 preseason on the road Tuesday in an exhibition match against preseason No. 25 Akron starting at 7 p.m. from FirstEnergy Stadium.
2014 SEASON RECAP
The Golden Grizzlies are coming off one of its best seasons in the Division I era. Oakland won its first-ever Horizon League regular season and tournament championship since joining the league in 2013. The Golden Grizzlies defeated No. 24 Kentucky, 2-0, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament for its second NCAA College Cup victory and advancing to the second round for the first time since 2007.
INSIDE THE SERIES
The Golden Grizzlies are 4-9-3 all-time against the Zips. The teams last faced in 2010 when Akron was the No. 1 ranked in the country. Oakland last defeated the Zips in 2003 at home by the score of 2-1.
Akron comes into the season as the No. 25 team in the preseason rankings after finishing 2014 as the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament champions. The Zips return nine starters from a team that went 13-6-2 last season including a trio of All-MAC first team selections in Adam Najem, Jake Fenlason and Andrew Souders.
Oakland returns three All-Horizon League selections from last season. Matt Dudley was a first team selection as he led the team in assists and points. Shawn Claud Lawson was also a first team honoree with four goals during the league season. Wes Mink was a second team selection after posting a 10-5-3 record during his freshman campaign.
The Golden Grizzlies added two new coaches to reigning Horizon League Coach of the Year Eric Pogue's staff. Armen Tonianse joins the staff after being a part of the Springfield Demize of the PDL. Steve Seargeant returns to Oakland as a volunteer coach after spending over 20 years as an assistant under both Pogue and Gary Parsons.
The Golden Grizzlies will play their first home exhibition match of 2015 against preseason No. 18 Louisville on Saturday starting at 7 p.m. from the Oakland Soccer Field.