2. PRESEASON: Midwest tournaments draw major teams


Major preseason tournaments continue in the Midwest through the weekend as college teams prepare for the opening of the 2006 season on Aug. 25.

The Westfield Insurance Cup features three 2005 NCAA Men's Division I quarterfinalists. Host Akron, ranked No. 7 in the Soccer America Preseason Men's Top 25, joins No. 6 Clemson and No. 13 Creighton in this year's tournament, which is being played Aug. 17-20.

Clemson edged Creighton, 1-0, to advance to the 2005 Men's College Cup. Akron fell to Maryland in the quarterfinals. The fourth men's entrant in the Westfield Insurance Cup is St. John's, which reached the round of 16 in 2005 but is unranked in preseason. The Red Storm had four starters not return -- three transferred and one turned pro.

Men's play begins tonight in Akron with Clemson against St. John's and Creighton against Akron in the semifinals. The women's tournament, which began last night, features host Akron, Cincinnati, Wright State and Temple. Fireworks will be held after the semifinal games. A SoccerFest will be held Friday and Saturday.

Maryland, the 2005 NCAA Division I men's champion, meets Indiana, the 2003 and 2004 champion, tonight in the marquee game at the seventh annual IPFW Soccer Showcase in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

The IPFW Soccer Showcase takes place at the Hefner Soccer Fields and features four men's and three women's college games, as well as high school matches, over three days. Last year's showcase weekend in Ft. Wayne drew more than 15,000 fans.
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