Chicago visit starts off 2017 season

A pair of contests hosted by Illinois Institute of Technology are on the first weekend’s menu for Manchester University.

Match details: The Black and Gold faces off against the host IIT Hawks at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Friday, Sept. 1 and the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater Sunday, Sept. 3, at 2 p.m. EST Sunday, Sept. 3. Both non-conference clashes are set at Stuart Field on Illinois Tech’s campus in Chicago, Ill. … Fans can check www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics, for live audio, statistics and video links for the weekend schedule.

Spartan Shorts: Corey Brueggeman is issuing a challenge. The second-year Manchester University head coach hopes and feels his 2017 team will accept it. It is centered on a robust non-league slate to prepare for what is always a daunting roster in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Planned results have the Spartans doing something special … “We’ve got the group (to do this),” Brueggeman said. “Almost all of the contributors from a pretty solid 2016 season are back, and while we did lose our captains and some key players due to graduation, a strong core of experience and leadership is in front of us. I am excited (about the possibilities). We had an easier schedule to start off last year, and, at times, (assistant coach) Isaac (Beal) and I did not feel like we were playing up to the level of our competition especially in conference play. This increased schedule will aid in the process. We feel like it will get us headed in the right direction.” … Manchester University found itself in the top five with the release of the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s coaches’ preseason men’s soccer poll Tuesday, Aug. 15. The Spartans garnered 53 points just six behind Mt. St. Joseph University (59) for fourth. Transylvania edged Rose-Hulman for preseason favorite status, winding up with 88 points and six first-place votes compared to the Fightin’ Engineers’ 85 points and four first-place picks. Brueggeman’s squad placed a quartet on the Players to Watch section. Returning honorable mention all-loop awardees Brandon Renninger, a sophomore defender from Fort Wayne, Ind., and Samuel Tetteh-Quarshie, a junior midfielder from Acra, Ghana, joined junior forward Drake DeWitt (Columbia City, Ind.) and junior midfielder Ben Niederhelman (Ross, Ohio) in being recognized.

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