PARKVILLE, Mo. - Following a successful start to the 2017 season, Park University men's soccer hits the road for the first time on Saturday, September 2 to take on Graceland University at 2:30 p.m.

The Pirates (1-0-0) will continue non-conference play in Lamoni, Iowa on Saturday as part of a doubleheader with the women's team. Park will return home for another Wednesday night non-conference game at Julian Field on September 6 against Friends University at 7:00 p.m.

HEAD TO HEAD
Park owns a 8-7-0 edge in the all-time series against Graceland dating back to the first-ever meeting between the teams in 1998. The Pirates will square off with the Yellowjackets for the first time since the 2014 campaign, a game that saw the Pirates come out the victors by a 2-0 scoreline. That win snapped a three-game losing streak for Park against Graceland, which has won the last two meetings at Rasmussen Field against the Pirates.

LAST TIME OUT
Isaias De La Torre (SR/Dodge City, Kan.) scored the game-winning goal at 81:58 of the second half and Jesse Jasso (JR/Kansas City, Mo.) added an insurance goal with 23 seconds remaining to give Park a 3-1 win over Briar Cliff on Wednesday evening. Juan Carlos Salazar (JR/Bogota, Colombia) opened the scoring for the Pirates at 24:18 before the Chargers equalized with just over five minutes until half. Thalu Masindi (JR/London, England) earned the win in goal and made four saves.

WELCOME TO THE NEW
Park ushered in six new starters to its first 11 on Wednesday from last season's opening game against Northwestern College. The midfield had the most turnover as just Ivan Aguero (SO/Olathe, Kan.) returned among the five, while Isaias De La Torre made the move from defense into the forward line.

ABOUT THE YELLOWJACKETS
Graceland has compiled a record of 0-1-1 heading into Saturday's game, most recently dropping a 1-0 decision to Northwestern on Tuesday. The Yellowjackets have yet to score a goal in 200 minutes of play, but have yielded just one after opening the season with a scoreless draw against William Woods.

SHOT TO THE HEART
After squaring off against three members of the Heart of America Athletic Conference in non-conference play in 2016, the Pirates will face just Graceland from the Heart this season after the opener against Central Methodist was rained out. The Pirates claimed a pair of draws against Avila and MidAmerica Nazarene in 2016 before falling at Baker. Since 2008, the Pirates have encountered at least three Heart teams in non-conference play in eight of 10 seasons.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • By scoring at 89:37, Jesse Jasso scored the latest regulation goal for the Pirates since Mirko Sandivari netted at 88:53 against Williams Baptist on Sept. 26, 2015.
  • Dating back to the start of the 2016 season, Park has now won seven-straight games when scoring the first goal. Since the start of the 2015 season, the Pirates are 15-2-1 when netting the first strike of the contest.