GAME NOTES: Argonauts to start season with Saturday match at Saint Leo
Argos to begin three-game stretch of Sunshine State Conference opponents
SAINT LEO, Fla. - The West Florida men's soccer team will open the 2012 season on the road this Saturday, seeing action against Saint Leo University. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET, and fans can follow the action live at www.SaintLeoLions.com.
2012 Men's Soccer Game Notes:
8/30 @ Saint Leo
Despite finishing third in the Gulf South Conference standings a year ago, the Argonauts were the unanimous pick to win the league title in the preseason coaches’ poll. The number one spot in the poll belonged to West Florida for the 11th straight season. Five Argonauts earned preseason All-GSC honors: forwards Frank Cope and Stephen Munoz, midfielders Richard Dixon and Nick Salafrio, and defender Trey Kramer.
Returning from injury
Seniors Frank Cope and Richard Dixon were big losses for UWF last year, as both went down with season-ending injuries before the season started. Having both players back will be a big boost for the team, as both have earned regional and national acclaim. Cope is a dynamic attacking player, and he scored two goals and 10 assists in his way to an All-American season in 2010. Dixon is an athletic and physical midfielder, and he also holds the distinction of being only one of two players in school history to earn three All-South Region awards. Dixon was also the GSC Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2009.
Leadership in the back
The Argos lost senior defenders Sean Reynolds and Marquel Waldron from a year ago, but the team has plenty of talent returning on the back line. Trey Kramer and James Moore will be entering their senior seasons in 2012, each having made an impact in their time at UWF. Kramer is a four-year starter and was named to the All-GSC Team as a freshman. Moore played left back for the Argos as a junior transfer last year, starting 14 games and eventually earning all-tournament team honors at the GSC Tournament.
Elliott’s summer success
Head coach Bill Elliott had a busy summer, as he led Chattanooga FC of the National Premier Soccer League to the league’s national championship match. Elliott, a Chattanooga native, led the team to a national runner-up finish in just his first year with the squad. The NPSL is a national amateur league that is recognized by the United States Soccer Federation and FIFA as a Division IV league - or at the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid. On their way to the NPSL title game, Chattanooga FC claimed the Southeast Conference championship for the second time in three years.