CHARLESTON, S.C. – The College of Charleston men’s soccer team and head coach Ralph Lundy have announced the 2013 fall schedule, highlighted by eight regular season matches at Patriots Point as well as another grueling slate of opponents consistent with Lundy’s drive to challenge the very best.
“Our 2013 schedule once again affords our program the opportunity to play a lot of high RPI games,” said Lundy. “We are fortunate to compete against seven teams that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
“Last fall, with two weeks left in the season, we were in a prime position to win an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The reason we were in that position was because of the scheduling and we are going to stay committed to playing the best teams in the country.”
As Lundy mentioned, the Cougars will take on seven 2012 tournament participants, five of which advanced out of the first round.
The 2013 campaign will be the Cougars inaugural season as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association as the program begins a new era of competing for championships.
“We are very excited about our first year in the Colonial Athletic Association and for the new challenges within this conference,” said Lundy. “The players have responded extremely well to the demands over the course of the spring and now it's important that they continue to build throughout the summer period in order to be ready for a big year in 2013.”
After exhibition matches against Central Florida and East Tennessee State University, the Cougars open the regular season with the 13th annual Nike / Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic on Labor Day weekend. This year’s tournament will pit the Cougars against Xavier and Akron, teams which advanced to the second and third rounds of last year’s NCAA Tournament, respectively. The Cougars will face Akron on Friday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Xavier on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 2:30 p.m.
The following weekend takes the Cougars to Greenville, S.C., where the CofC side will face former Southern Conference foes Wofford and Furman in the Furman University Diadora / Spinx Tournament. The Cougars and Terriers square off on Friday, Sept. 6 and the Cougars and Paladins wrap up the tournament on Sunday, Sept. 8.
After concluding the early-season tournaments, the Cougars return home to host Vermont in a Friday-night clash at Patriots Point at 7 p.m.
Lundy will then take his squad to the Pacific Coast where the team will have the opportunity to take on Stanford and the University of California on Friday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept 22.
“The trip to Stanford and California will be an amazing experience for our players,” said Lundy. “It won’t only benefit them from a soccer stand point, but from a life perspective as well, as we will couple the soccer trip with a visit to San Francisco in between games.”
CofC will then open the CAA season against UNC Wilmington on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Patriots Point in their first conference game of the Colonial era.
The month of October will be demanding for the Cougars, as all three non-conference opponents were 2012 NCAA Tournament participants. The team faces familiar intrastate rivals Winthrop (Oct. 1) and Coastal Carolina (Oct. 8) who both made it to the second round last season, in addition to 2012 tournament qualifier UAB (Oct. 25).
The Cougars’ in-conference games in October will take them to Williamsburg, Va., to take on William and Mary (Oct 5) and Newark, Del., to face University of Delaware (Oct 13) before they host James Madison (Oct 30) to close out the month.
CofC closes out the season with another pair of 2012 tournament teams and both the 2012 CAA champion teams. The last week of the season matches CofC with CAA tournament-champion Northeastern on Nov. 2 before returning home to host regular-season champion Drexel on Nov. 6.
The 2013 CAA Tournament will open on Nov. 9 with the finals to be played on Nov. 16.