GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG's men's soccer team will host 10 regular-season home matches and take on four NCAA tournament teams throughout its 18-match 2011 schedule, coach Justin Maullin announced Tuesday.
The Spartans will tangle with 2010 NCAA tournament participants Duke, William & Mary, East Tennessee State and College of Charleston. UNCG also made the NCAA tourney last season after winning the Southern Conference Championship.
UNCG will kick off the season with an exhibition at NC State on Aug. 16 and will host UNCP for an exhibition on Aug. 20. The Spartans open the regular season with a home contest against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Duke on Aug. 26 in the second half of a doubleheader with UNCG's women's team, which will host Wake Forest earlier in the evening. The Blue Devils finished last season ranked in the top 25 of both the Soccer America and Soccer Times polls.
Reigning Atlantic Sun Conference tournament champion ETSU comes to the UNCG Soccer Stadium on Aug. 31 before UNCG hits the road to face another ACC opponent, Clemson, on Sept. 5. The Spartans return home briefly to host the A-Sun's North Florida on Sept. 9 before embarking on a season-high three-match road trip.
The Spartans' tough road swing starts at defending Atlantic 10 regular-season champion Charlotte on Sept. 11 and continues at Navy on Sept. 17. UNCG will wrap up the difficult stretch at defending Colonial Athletic Association regular-season and tournament champion William & Mary on Sept. 20. The Tribe finished last season ranked in the top 10 in several national polls, including the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Hendrickcars.com Top 25, while Charlotte received votes in several polls and was ranked 28th in the College Soccer News poll. UNCG downed both opponents 2-1 in Greensboro last season.
UNCG returns to the UNCG Soccer Stadium for a Homecoming match against Gardner-Webb on Sept. 24, kicking off a three-match homestand. The Spartans open SoCon play against Furman on Oct. 1, followed by a bout with defending Big South Conference regular-season champion High Point on Oct. 5. Furman shared the SoCon regular-season crown with UNCG and CofC, while HPU received votes in the final College Soccer News poll of the season.
The Spartans will alternate home and away contests the rest of the season, starting with a match at Appalachian State on Oct. 8. UNCG returns home to host Davidson on Oct.12, followed by contests at Wofford (Oct. 15), vs. Longwood (Oct. 19), at CofC (Oct. 22) – which earned an NCAA at-large bid last season and received votes in several final national polls – vs. Georgia Southern (Oct. 25), at Elon (Oct. 29) and vs. UNCW (Nov. 1).
The SoCon Championship first round follows on Nov. 5, with the top four seeds hosting. The semifinal and championship games will be in Boone, N.C., on Nov. 11-13.
The NCAA tournament gets under way at campus sites on Nov. 17. The Men's College Cup will be held in Hoover, Ala., from Dec. 9-11.
UNCG went 12-6-4 overall last season, including a 4-1-2 mark in SoCon play to earn a share of the regular-season title. The Spartans won the SoCon Championship to grab the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tourney, taking an 11-match unbeaten streak into the tournament. Maullin was named the SoCon Coach of the Year in his first season at the helm for UNCG.
"First of all, it's a very, very challenging schedule," UNCG assistant coach Scott Brittsan said. "We face some extremely difficult nonconference opponents and what we consider to be a very difficult Southern Conference. It's a difficult schedule, but we're excited about it and the returning players we have from a successful campaign with some very young players still on the team."
2011 UNCG men's soccer schedule
Aug. 16 at NC State (exh.), 7 p.m.; Aug. 20 vs. UNCP (exh.), 7 p.m.; Aug. 26 vs. Duke, 8 p.m.; Aug. 31 vs. East Tennessee State, 7 p.m.; Sept. 5 at Clemson, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9 vs. North Florida, 7 p.m.; Sept. 11 at Charlotte, 7 p.m.; Sept. 17 at Navy, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 at William & Mary, 7 p.m.; Sept. 24 vs. Gardner-Webb, 7 p.m.; Oct. 1 vs. Furman*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5 vs. High Point, 7 p.m.; Oct. 8 at Appalachian State*, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 12 vs. Davidson*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 15 at Wofford*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 19 vs. Longwood, 7 p.m.; Oct. 22 at College of Charleston*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 25 vs. Georgia Southern*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 29 at Elon*, 7 p.m.; Nov. 1 vs. UNCW, 7 p.m.; Nov. 5 SoCon first round (campus sites), TBA; Nov. 11-13 SoCon Championship (Boone, N.C.); Nov. 17 NCAA first round (campus sites), TBA; Nov. 20 NCAA second round (campus sites), TBA; Nov. 27 NCAA third round (campus sites), TBA; Dec. 2-4 NCAA quarterfinal round (campus sites), TBA; Dec. 9-11 Men's College Cup (Hoover, Ala.).
* Southern Conference match
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