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Soccer to host tournament this weekend

This weekend marks the first of Brown sports action this fall, so to cheer on the Bears, check out these games.

Friday, Sept. 5 and Sunday, Sept. 7, the defending Ivy League champion men's soccer team will be taking the field as hosts of the annual Adidas-Brown Soccer Classic tournament versus Big East adversaries St. John's College and Villanova University. The annual pre-game BBQ takes place on Friday in front of the Pizzitola Sports Center and makes for an excellent start to this kick-off weekend for fall sports.

Leading the team will be defender Rhett Bernstein '09, who after earning First-Team All-Ivy honors in 2007 was named a Pre-season Second Team All-American by Soccer America for the 2008 season. The team will also feature goalie Paul Grandstrand '11, who hopes to continue his dominance in goal after an outstanding freshman season that earned him Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors in 2007. Other key returning players include midfielders Darren Howerton '09, Nick Elenz-Martin '10 and Chris Roland '10. Elenz-Martin's solid all-around play earned him a spot on the All-Ivy First Team, while Roland and Howerton, the team leader with nine assists, were both given All-Ivy honorable mention accolades. Bruno will look to get its season off to a good start by repeating as Adidas Soccer Classic champions, when it faces St. John's at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Villanova at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The women's soccer team will kick off its season at Boston College on Friday before returning to Brown for its first home game of the season when it faces off against Albany at 6 p.m. The team hopes to build on its 2007 season, in which the Bears finished with a 6-10-1 record and a 3-4 mark in the Ivy League. Brown returns two All-Ivy players, Lindsay Cunningham '09 and Bridget Ballard '10. Cunningham, a forward, finished with two goals and three assists last season to earn a spot on the All-Ivy Second Team, and Ballard was named honorable mention for her strong play as a midfielder for the Bears.

The field hockey team also begins its season this weekend, hoping to rebound after a difficult 1-16 season in 2007. Key players include Victoria Sacco '09, who was named Second Team All-Ivy last season after finishing with three goals and two assists, as well as Tacy Zysk '11, who emerged as a powerful goal scorer with four goals in the last four games of the season, including two in the team's lone victory, a 3-0 win over Yale in the season finale.

The Bears will travel to Durham, N.H., on Friday to take on the University of New Hampshire in the season opener.


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