NewsFirst-Knox Cougar Invitational to Kick off on Friday
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s soccer team will host the 2004 First-Knox Cougar Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Cougar Field in what should prove to be two exciting days of college soccer.
"It is a pleasure to have First-Knox National Bank help sponsor this tournament again for the fifth straight year,” said MVNU head coach Paul Furey. "It has been a great relationship over the years, and I am glad that we can continue in making this a quality tournament thanks to Barb Barry and First-Knox.”
The host Cougars will enter the tournament with a 3-0-0 record after posting wins over Asbury (Ky.) College, Bryan (Tenn.) College, and Daemen (N.Y.) College to open the season. Sophomore midfielder Josh Van Pelt leads MVNU with four goals and two assists, while junior midfielder Jeffery Hinds has three goals and a team-high four assists. Sophomore forward Jonathan Hoop has also scored three goals to go with two assists. Meanwhile, the Cougars’ defense has allowed just one goal in three matches with sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Knight posting two shutouts with his 0.33 goals against average.
MVNU will take on Montreat (N.C.) College in the first round on Friday at 4:00 p.m. The Cavaliers have posted a 1-1-0 record to open the season with a 1-0 win over Milligan (Tenn.) College and a 1-0 overtime loss at the University of South Carolina-Spartansburg, an NCAA Division II school. Montreat is led by sophomore midfielder Shermon Gardner, who scored 14 goals last year and was named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.
The first match on Friday will feature Geneva (Pa.) College versus the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) at 2:00 p.m. For the Golden Tornadoes of Geneva, this will be their first match of the season after going 12-5-3 in 2003. The Cougars of Saint Francis have an 0-0-1 record after tying Siena Heights (Mich.) University earlier this week in their season opener.
"We have three very solid teams coming in,” said Furey. "Montreat is off to a great start with a win over a solid Milligan squad and that should be a tough match for us to open the tournament. Geneva and Saint Francis traditionally are very strong programs and should make for an exciting match. Saint Francis also received votes in the NAIA preseason poll.”
The tournament, which is free to the public, will continue on Saturday with the consolation match beginning at 1:00 p.m. followed by the championship match at 3:00 p.m. At the conclusion of the championship match, there will be an awards presentation for the All-Tournament Team and the championship trophy.