Pontiac, MI (March 8, 2013)- The Michigan Bucks will be hosting their fifth annual College Challenge at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac on Saturday, March 23 and this year will also be a participant. For the first time, the Bucks will field a team that will join soccer power house University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan and Oakland University in a three game format that will allow soccer fans admission to the entire day’s events for only $8. For the fourth consecutive year, the College Challenge will be sponsored by adidas, with the first 250 kids receiving a FREE Michigan Bucks/ adidas College Challenge t-shirt. In addition, the Bucks will be raffling off FREE autographed merchandise, adidas MLS game balls and replica jerseys between each match.
The afternoon schedule will begin with U of M hosting #8 ranked Notre Dame (1:20 PM kickoff), followed by Oakland University taking on the Fighting Irish (3:00 PM kick off) and ending with the local marquee matchup of the OU Golden Grizzlies taking on the host Michigan Bucks (4:40 PM kickoff). All three games will be abbreviated 70 minute matches and will be played on the Bucks home stadium field in the perfect weather of indoor Ultimate Soccer Arenas.
The Fighting Irish come into the tournament as the highest profile and highest seeded team and are coming off of one of their best seasons ever under head coach Bobby Clark. Notre Dame lost a heart breaker to eventual NCAA champion Indiana in double overtime in last fall’s NCAA tournament. Michigan began the Chaka Daley era at the helm of the Wolverines with a modest regular season, coming on strong to defeat Niagara in the NCAA tournament before falling 2-1 to powerhouse Akron on the road in the second round. Wolverine and Michigan Bucks standout goal keeper Adam Grinwis (PDL Goalkeeper of the Year) lead’s the Wolverine team back into Ultimate Soccer Arenas for the opening match of the day. Former Wolverines and Bucks defender Kofi Opare was drafted and signed by the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer in January.
Eric Pogue leads his Oakland Grizzlies up against Notre Dame in the middle game of the day and his Summit League Champions will welcome the stern test that will pit his young players against a veteran Notre Dame side. Midfielder Miche’le Lipari leads the Grizzlies at OU and looks to find a starting role with the Bucks this summer. The Michigan Bucks will field a team of veteran players themselves when they take on OU in the main event of the College Challenge presented by adidas.
Leading the Bucks into the match will be the PDL’s all time leading scorer, Kenny Uzoigwe. Kenny will be joined by a host of former Oakland University standouts, including former PDL Defender of the Year, Stew Givens, last year’s PDL assist leader Tom Catalano and defensive specialist Sebby Harris. Playing in his final game for the Michigan Bucks is Rochester native Simon Omekanda, who began his career with the Bucks as a high school senior and played with the team while attending Penn State University. After graduation, Omekanda went on to play professionally in Europe for several seasons before coming back to lead the Bucks as co-captain the past two seasons.
Tickets for the College Challenge are $12 Adults and $9 Youth (16 and under) at the gate. Children 5 and under are always free to Bucks games. Discounted tickets can be purchased for only $8 by purchasing online at www.buckssoccer.com or visiting Ultimate Soccer Arenas before game day. College students with a valid student ID will be admitted at the gate for only $6. Anyone interested in purchasing group tickets (20 or more) can do so for only $6 each. These tickets must be purchased all at once and before game day by contacting Bucks Director of Operations Sherwin Connell at (917) 325-9345 or e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLLEGE TRIPLE HEADER ON APRIL 6 FEATURES BOTH MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TOP COLLEGE SOCCER ACTION
The Michigan Bucks College Triple Header presented by DMC Sports Medicine will be held at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac on Saturday, April 6 from 1:30-7:30 PM. The triple header schedule begins at 1:30 PM with Oakland University hosting the Bowling Green Falcons (men). That game will be immediately followed by the state’s greatest rivalry match, Michigan vs. MichiganState (men) at 3:45 PM. The main event will feature the Lady Grizzlies of Oakland hosting the Lady Spartans of MichiganState at 6:00 PM. All three games will be full length ninety minute matches for the discounted price of only $8 for tickets purchased in advance either online at the Bucks web site or at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac.
Miche’le Lipari leads the returning Grizzlies in scoring for the upcoming season and looks forward to his second season this summer with the Michigan Bucks. Jamaican forward Anthony Grant brings his Falcons of Bowling Green into Ultimate Soccer Arenas, where he scored several very important goals for the Bucks last summer, leading the team to its third PDL Regular Season Championship.
In the second match of the day, PDL Goalkeeper of the Year Adam Grinwis hopes to keep the Michigan State Spartans off the score sheet as he and the Wolverines look to avenge the Spartans 2-1 overtime win in the last fall’s Big Ten Tournament. Defender Kevin Cope captain’s his MSU side this spring, and looks to do the same for the Michigan Bucks this summer. Tom Saxton brings the Michigan State Lady Spartans to Ultimate Soccer Arenas for the third consecutive season and faces off against Nick O’Shea’s Oakland Lady Grizzlies. The two teams played to a 0-0 draw last fall in their only meeting. Oakland went on to upset #4 Ohio State in the NCAA tournament before being knocked out by #15 Texas A & M.
Tickets to see all three games are only $12 Adults and $9 Youth (16 and under) at the gate. Children 5 and under are always free to Bucks games. All tickets can be purchased for ONLY $8 by visiting the Bucks web site at www.buckssoccer.com and clicking on the COLLEGE TICKETS link on the home page or by visiting Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac. Any college student with a valid student ID can get into the games for only $6. Group tickets of 20 or more are also available for only $6 each when purchased at the same time. For further information please contact the Bucks office at 248-334-7460 or Ultimate Soccer Arenas at 248-648-7000.