Coming off its most successful season ever the Drake men’s soccer team opens on Thursday night with a game against seventh rated Indiana. It’s part of the National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and will include seven teams ranked in the national polls.

Drake opens the season ranked 21st after a 13-5-1 record in 2008 that included a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Drake coach Sean Holmes says the tournament has been built up over the last couple of years and it is a big step to be able to participate.

Holmes says with an experienced team this will be a good way to open the season. He says they’ve always played local teams from smaller schools to start the season slowly, but this will be a good test.

Holmes says that experience has been evident in pre-season workouts and he says getting things together going forward is the key. He says they return lots of letter winners and have been able to skip over some things as they move ahead.

This is just the first game of a tough early schedule for the Bulldogs that includes DePaul, Michigan and Marquette.