The Westminster men’s soccer team opens the 2014 campaign playing four games over four days at the Westminster Kickoff Classic. The event will feature two games each day at Dumke Field during the season’s opening weekend.

Westminster starts the slate against Carroll on Thursday afternoon. This will be the first-ever game for Carroll as the team is in its first year as a program.

On Friday, the Griffins return to action with a contest with longtime soccer rival Embry-Riddle. Westminster then plays The Master’s on Saturday before closing out the weekend against Bethesda on Sunday.

The 2014 Griffins return 13 players from last year’s team that finished 9-11. The roster features seven seniors and two juniors that played big minutes in 2013. They also return two of the three goalies that played last season, including Logan Butzier who led the team with 76 saves.

The 13 players returning in 2014 combined to score six goals and tally eight assists a year ago. The group attempted 74 shots and managed 40 of them on goal. The returning goalies combined to make 86 saves while allowing 27 goals.

Head coach Chris Dorich enters the 2014 season with 274 wins, and he ranks eighth in the NAIA among active coaches in that category. Dorich is in his 31st season at the helm of the Westminster program and is one of three NAIA coaches across the country with 30 years at one school.