ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's soccer team opens the 2012 season Friday afternoon when the Bulldogs travel to Eastern Kentucky for a match that will start at 5 p.m.


Asheville is trying to improve on last year's 4-15-1 overall record. The Bulldogs hope to avenge a 4-0 loss suffered to the Colonels last season at Greenwood Field.


Michelle Demko's club played well at times in a 3-1 exhibition loss at Charlotte on Saturday.


"Charlotte is a solid program that competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference," commented Demko. "We wanted to win, but it was nice that we were able to compete with them for the entire match."


Friday's match starts a busy weekend for the Bulldogs. Asheville stages its home opener on Sunday when it hosts East Tennessee State at Greenwood Field starting at 1 p.m.


Asheville returns 11 letterwinners and seven starters from last year's club that finishes eighth in the Big South Conference. The Bulldogs were a preseason pick to finish in ninth place in the conference poll.


Heading up Asheville's returnees are last year's leading scorers Amanda Knapp and Kaitlyn Eckert. Knapp and Eckert tied for the team lead in goals with six, while Knapp had 16 points and Eckert 13. Also returning is sophomore goalkeeper Heather Muller who played in every minute of every match in 2011. She posted two shutouts for the season.


Bulldog Notes

  • 1. UNC Asheville looks for its first opening-game victory since a 1-0 triumph over Tennessee Tech in 2007.
  • 2. The Bulldogs have 11 freshmen on their roster this season.
  • 3. Amanda Knapp's next goal will be the 10th of her career. She'll become the 13th player in school history to have at least 10 career goals.
  • 4. Heather Muller needs six saves to move into fifth place on Asheville's career list for saves.
  • 5. The Bulldogs went 1-9 in road matches in 2011.