ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville men’s soccer team opens the 2013 season with a tough match at Southern Conference power UNC Greensboro Friday night at UNCG Soccer Stadium starting at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs were impressive in their one exhibition match as they posted a 1-0 victory at Davidson on Aug. 17.
Asheville went 1-15-1 last season but looks to turn things around this year. The Bulldogs went 5-2 in the spring and have their exhibition win over Davidson.
“The group is looking forward to playing away against a very good UNC Greensboro team on Friday night. They are expecting a crowd of 3 or 4,000, so it will be a great atmosphere,” stated Bulldog coach Matt Kern.
“Greensboro is very well coached, technical, and athletic,” added Kern. “The pace of the game will be very fast at times, and both teams will attempt to deal with limited amounts of time and space.”
Asheville is looking to avenge last year’s 5-0 defeat to the Spartans at Greenwood Field. The Bulldogs are 0-12-1 vs. the Spartans all-time.
UNCG had a rare losing season in 2012 with a 5-10-2 worksheet. They went 3-4-0 in the Southern Conference.
Kern’s club returns eight starters and 16 letterwinners from 2012. Senior forward Bobby Castro and senior midfielder Rob May should lead the Bulldogs up front this season. Sophomore A.J. Iiames is back this year to lead the Asheville defense. He red-shirted in 2012 after an impressive freshman season in 2011.
The Bulldogs return home on Sunday to host Brevard College in their home opener starting at 2 p.m.
UNC Asheville is 1-1-1 in its last three opening games under head coach Matt Kern.
Sophomore Dan Jackson is slated to start in goal for the Blue & White. He started 14 times in 2012 and produced one shutout.
The Bulldogs are a preseason pick to finish in 10th place this season in the Big South.
Asheville will play 10 home matches in 2013.