WASHINGTON — The American University men's soccer team hosts Georgetown to kick off the 2017 season at Reeves Field on Friday night.
American is coming off an 11-5-5 season a year ago that included a 7-1-1 mark in the Patriot League. The Eagles won the regular season in the PL last year but graduated a number of seniors.
AU has had double figures in victories in three straight seasons and in four of its last five. Head Coach Todd West is beginning his 18th year with the Eagles.
The Eagles were picked third in the recent Patriot League Preseason Poll behind Loyola Maryland and 2016 champion Colgate.
American welcomes 12 freshmen — Will Boinest, Nick Dimitrijevic, Andreas Djurhuss, Trey Echazarreta, Jordan Gamarra, Brenner Jarrad, Oscar McConnell, Matt O'Connell, Alameen Salako, Matt Sloan and Jerry Zouantcha and three transfers — Ben Green (Colorado College), John Mino (Villanova) and Oliver Price (Northwood) to the roster.
The Eagles will need to replace a tough and dominating senior class that saw five players — Panos Nakhid, Dale Ludwig, Michael Cherry, Jake Garcia and Lucas Belanger — receive All-Patriot League honors last season. Back in the Red, White and Blue this season are sophomore Max Holdsworth, who recorded 12 points and Joel Hart, who had four goals in 20 games.
American will stay local and travel to George Mason on Sunday evening before heading west to take on Oregon State and Gonzaga next weekend.