Dayton Flyers to honor Mike Tucker on Sunday

Longtime women’s soccer coach retiring after this season

Mike Tucker got a first glimpse of his own bobblehead this week. The first 400 fans at the Dayton Flyers women’s soccer match against Massachusetts at 1 p.m. Sunday will receive the souvenir.

“It’s not a bad likeness,” Tucker said Tuesday. “That was a good laugh for sure.”

The game will be the last at Baujan Field for Tucker, who is retiring after the season. He has been the head coach for 22 years and was an assistant coach for three years before that. Fans will also receive autographed posters at the game as UD celebrates Mike Tucker Appreciation Day.

“It’s going to be tough, absolutely,” Tucker said. “I have so many great memories out on that field in 25 years of coaching here. It’s all going to be good, but I tend to get a little emotional. I’m sure I will then, too. At the end of the day, it’s an important game for us. I don’t want to make it about me. It’s about us going out and getting good results.”

The Flyers (5-8-3, 3-3-2) take a two-game winning streak into the final weekend of the regular season. They play at Duquesne at 7 p.m. Thursday and then come home for Sunday’s finale. They’re in seventh place in the Atlantic 10, and the top eight teams make the tournament, which will be held Nov. 3-6 in Kingston, R.I.

The Flyers beat Rhode Island 2-0 and St. Bonaventure 3-0 in their last two games. That followed a three-game stretch in which they lost 1-0 to Virginia Commonwealth, tied La Salle 1-1 and lost 1-0 to Fordham.

“We’re playing better,” Tucker said. “It wasn’t that we weren’t playing decent the couple weeks ahead of that, we just couldn’t get results. It’s nice to get rewarded for decent play and get good results. We at least put ourselves an opportunity to get in the tournament and go from there.”

Junior Alexis Kiehl has been the team’s offensive star. She has 12 of the team’s 25 goals. She’s one goal off the A-10 lead.

“Alexis plays well all the time,” Tucker said. “She’s a battler. She probably puts more into the game than any player we have. She wants to be great. She’d like to play beyond college, and I think she’ll have that opportunity. Every opponent knows Alexis is our top scoring threat, so she gets a little bit of extra attention, and hse still manages to get good results. I’m not sure where we’d be without her this year, but the rest of the team has picked it up as well. It’s not just Alexis. It’s other kids who have contributed, too.”

Volleyball: Sophomore Margo Wolf was named A-10 Defensive Player of the Week. She averaged 7.0 digs per set in two victories.

Freshman Jamie Peterson was named A-10 Co-Rookie of the Week. She scored 2.21 points per set.

The Flyers (22-1, 9-0) stretched their winning streak to 11 matches Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Duquesne and played at Morehead State on Wednesday night.

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