[MEN'S PREVIEW: Friday] The 2013 men's season starts Friday with five games involving teams in the Soccer America Preseason Men's Top 25. No. 5 Creighton begins its quest for a third straight Men's College Cup appearance when it hosts No. 16 Tulsa, featuring one of the nation's top young strikers in Cristian Mata. No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 13 UCLA renew their rivalry at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic, while No. 20 Virginia hosts No. 14 Louisville in their first meeting. Other Top 25 matchups: No. 12 Wake Forest vs. No. 15 Coastal Carolina and No. 22 Northwestern vs. No. 23 UC Santa Barbara.
FRIDAY TOP 25 MATCHUPS
#5 Creighton vs. #16 Tulsa
Creighton has a 38-6-4 record and two Men's College Cup appearances since Elmar Bolowich took over as head
coach, and a third final four is not beyond the Bluejays' reach.
Bolowich's son, Alex, will take over after Jeff
Gal, who won the starting job as a freshman, transferred to Virginia.
Tulsa is young but talented as sophomores Cristian Mata (14
goals, 6 assists) and Bryce Follensbee (9 goals, 3 assists) combined fort 55 points last season.
#7 Notre Dame vs.
#13 UCLA (in Bloomington, Ind)
The Bruins and Fighting Irish open the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic, where they
meet for the third time.
Transfers Jordan Vale (Syracuse) and Aaron Simmons (SMU) should step into the
Bruin lineup right away.
A player to follow in Irish midfield: junior Nick Besler, younger brother of U.S. national team defender Matt Besler.
#12 Wake Forest vs. #15 Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina lost high-scoring Ashton Bennett, but it should get plenty of offense out of Brazilian playmaker Antonio Ribeiro, one of the nation's top
Wake lost playmaker Collin Martin over the summer when he signed a homegrown contract with D.C United, but at least defender Jalen Robinson, another highly regarded United academy player, is back for his sophomore season.
#20 Virginia vs.
Louisville and Virginia are two of the country's big-name men's programs, but they'll be meeting for the first time.
Marlon Hairston, who spent the spring with the U.S. U-20 national team, will be expected to step up after the loss of Andrew
Farrell, the No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft, and Dylan Mares, who transferred to Indiana.
of sophomores -- including ACC All-Freshman picks Darius Madison, Marcus Salandy-Defour and Todd Wharton -- are among 10 starters returning for the Cavaliers.
#22 Northwestern vs. #23 UC Santa Barbara
Northwestern is loaded with the return of All-Big Ten picks Tyler Miller, Nikko Boxall, Chris Ritter (last year’s Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year) and Joey Calistri (Big Ten Freshman of the Year).
If Frenchman Achille Campion, an NAIA transfer from Belhaven, can remain healthy, he should have a huge senior
year for UCSB. He scored six goals in seven games before being sidelined for the season with an ankle injury.