Ohio Wesleyan to Host adidas®-Fred Myers Invitational

Jay Martin. Photo by Barb Dougherty

While the name has changed, the setting has not.

Roy Rike Field will once again play host to an exciting weekend of soccer when the Ohio Wesleyan men’s team hosts the adidas®-Fred Myers Invitational on Friday and Saturday. For 2010 only, the Bishops’ two annual home tournaments, the Fred Myers Invitational and the adidas® Invitational, are continued as the adidas®-Fred Myers Invitational.

The tournament begins at 5 p.m., Friday, with Adrian (Michigan) taking on Capital. Principia (Illinois) and Ohio Wesleyan then square off at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Principia and Capital play at 5 p.m., to be followed by Adrian against Ohio Wesleyan at 7:30 p.m.

Adrian has high hopes for the 2010 season, in which the Bulldogs look to improve on last year’s 7-10-3 record despite having one of the youngest rosters in the country. Second-year head coach Chris LeFevre graduated only two players that started multiple games and returns only three upperclassmen, compared to 21 underclassmen.

Senior goalkeeper Alex Pavlika will anchor the Bulldog defense. Pavlika started all 20 games last season, posting 6 shutouts and leading the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association in total saves and saves per game.

Sophomore Cazz Warren was a second-team All-MIAA pick last year after tying for the conference lead with eight goals scored, three of which were game-winners.

Armed with a talented roster that includes both proven veterans and new additions, Capital will vie for its fourth OAC championship in as many seasons in 2010. After winning back-to-back OAC titles in 2007 and 2008, the Crusaders won their first league tournament in 2009 en route to a 16-5-2 record.

Senior Danny McCarthy, the 2008 OAC Midfielder of the Year, was second on the team in points with 22 last season on 7 goals and 8 assists. Senior Ian Warmbrodt added 20 points and a pair of goals in Capital’s shootout win over Ohio Northern in last season’s OAC tournament championship game.

Principia seeks to build on last year’s 13-3-1 campaign, which ended prematurely when the Panthers were sidelined on penalty kicks in the semifinals of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament.

Junior goalkeeper Samuel Thomas was a first-team all-conference choice last year, recording 6 shutouts on the season while holding opponents to a 0.98 goal against average, best in the conference. Senior forward Spencer Brown and junior defender Paul Sanderude were second-team all-conference selections. Brown ranked third on the team with 6 goals and 4 assists last year, while Sanderude contributed a goal and an assist on the offensive end.

The adidas®-Fred Myers tournament honors Fred Myers, the self-styled “grandfather” of Ohio soccer coaches who died of a heart attack in 1977, two weeks shy of his 51st birthday. He left behind a proud heritage of successful teams and major contributions to students’ lives.

Myers took over the 2-year-old Ohio Wesleyan soccer program in 1957. His 20 teams went on to fashion a .608 winning percentage and earn 8 trips to the NCAA playoffs. Two squads stood out: the 1963 team, which won the Mideast Region College Division championship, then the highest level of NCAA play; and the 1975 team, which finished third nationally, then Ohio Wesleyan’s best finish ever. In 8 years of Ohio Athletic Conference competition, Myers’ squads won 4 championships and twice finished in second place. Myers was named Ohio Coach of the Year in 1971 and 1973.

As Bucky Stultz, Myers’ first All-America soccer player, would note at his mentor’s memorial service, “He had a rare talent. He would quietly plant in a young person’s mind the seed of an idea or plan. His cultivating was done so subtly, it was usually several years before that seed would blossom. Then the realization would come: It was Fred Myers who added the spark, the vitality, that means so much in all our lives.”

The Fred Myers Invitational’s Most Valuable Player receives the Dick Gauthier Award, honoring one of Ohio Wesleyan’s greatest fans. Son of the legendary George Gauthier, Ohio Wesleyan’s Hall of Fame football coach, Dick Gauthier was a leader in campus-community relations.

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