CWRU Men’s Soccer to Open Season with Mount Union, Thomas More

CWRU Men’s Soccer to Open Season with Mount Union, Thomas More

The Case Western Reserve University men' soccer team will open its 2016 campaign with a home matchup against the University of Mount Union on Thursday, September 1st and then travel to Crestview Hills, Kentucky to take on Thomas More College on Sunday, September 4th. The Spartans are scheduled to start Thursday's match at 7:30 PM and Sunday's match at 1:00 PM.

Live Coverage

Fans can follow all of the action with live stats, with the links available both below and on the CWRU men's soccer schedule page.

Thursday, September 1st, 7:30 PM: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/msoc/2016-17/boxscores/20160901_ifa0.xml , while a video webcast is at http://athletics.case.edu/sports/msoc/live

Sunday, September 4th, 1:00 PM: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/msoc/2016-17/boxscores/20160904_cfjw.xml, while a video webcast is at https://boxcast.tv/view/mens-soccer-thomas-more-vs-case-western-reserve-274592

CWRU Spartans

The Spartans will open their 2016 season on Thursday, following a 13-4-1 finish to the 2015 campaign, which was the best by a CWRU men's soccer team since 2011 (15-5). The Spartans are slated to return 19 players from last year's team, including seven with significant starting experience.

The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Brandon Bianco who is starting his fourth season with the team. He has notched a career record of 27-17-9 for a .614 winning percentage, while helping to lead the team to two winning seasons in his three years at CWRU. Bianco is assisted by Chris Black, Chris Cvecko and Kaveh Varghai.

Mount Union Purple Raiders

Mount Union finished the 2015 year with a 9-8-1 record, including a 4-5 mark in conference play, while scoring 1.17 goals-per-game. The Purple Raiders are coached by Carter Poe, who is starting his second year with the team. He is assisted by Spencer Widlicka.

This is the second meeting between the two teams during the Brandon Bianco era of CWRU soccer. Last year, the Spartans defeated Mount Union 5-0 after a two-goal performance by Paul Darmstadter.

Thomas More Saints

After a 16-3-1 record last season, Thomas More will be opening its 2016 campaign against Denison on Thursday. The Saints earned the program's seventh-straight appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship last season.

Thomas More, led by second-year head coach Eric Busener, returns eight starters and 23 letter winners in 2016 and enters the season as one of 10 schools also receiving votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) NCAA Division III preseason ranking.

Last season, the Spartans lost to the Saints in a 3-2 overtime thriller on September 6th. Senior Jacob Grindel and junior Michael Balog each scored a goal, but that wasn't enough as Thomas More scored an unassisted goal at 95:32 in the first overtime period.

Spartan Notes

The Spartans have won three of their last five season-opening games, dating back to the 2011 season…Last season, CWRU defeated Mount Union 5-0 in their season opener in Alliance, Ohio…Paul Darmstadter scored two goals and Michael Balog also added a goal to seal the victory…Balog was second on the team last season with six goals and tied for first in assists with a total of four…The Spartans averaged 2.39 goals-per game, while only allowing 0.59 goals-per game…The 0.59 goals allowed per-game ranked 11th in all of NCAA Division III team statistical rankings.