NEWARK, Del.– The University of Delaware men's soccer team will travel to Durham, N.C. to tackle a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference schools this weekend as the Hens take on North Carolina State University and Duke University at the 31st John Rennie Nike Invitational.
The Blue Hens (0-1) will first square off against the North Carolina State (2-0) on Friday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m. and then battle Duke (0-1) on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 2:30 p.m. at Duke's Koskinen Stadium.
The defending Colonial Athletic Association champion, Delaware enters the John Rennie Invitational on the heels of a 1-0 loss to Massachusetts last week in the season opener. Junior forward Roberto Gimenez looks to return to his scoring ways after posting 10 goals last year. Sophomore goalkeeper Jay Lupas will continue to grow in goal after making his
first collegiate start in the season opener.
Delaware has faced North Carolina State and Duke each one time in 2007. The Blue Hens dropped a 1-0 decision to N.C. State and 6-1 setback to Duke.
After producing a 7-11-2 record in 2011, NC State head coach Kelly Findley looks for the Wolfpack's first 3-0 start since 2009. NCSU has a 20-plus point returner in junior forward Nazmi Albadawi. Junior goalkeeper Fabian Otte played in 19 matches last season and posted a
1.65 GA with a 6-11-2 record.
Duke head coach John Kerr returns 19 letterwinners in addition to eight starters from a club that posted a third place finish in the ACC with an 11-8-3 record a year ago. The Blue Devils have an All-ACC first team selection returning in goal with senior James Belshaw. All-ACC second team midfielder/defender Sebastian Ibeagha is a member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team.
Santa Clara (0-1) is also part of the four-team John Rennie Nike Invitational but the Blue Hens will not face the Broncos this year.
Following the weekend set, the Blue Hens continue their non-conference schedule by traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa. to play in the University of Pittsburgh Invitational. On Friday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. Delaware will play Duquesne University and on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 2:30 p.m. will face host Pittsburgh at Pitt's Petersen Sports Complex.