ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Matches at North Carolina, Duke and two in-season tournaments highlight the 2011 UNC Asheville men's soccer schedule that was announced today by second-year head coach Matt Kern.
The 20-match schedule includes two exhibition matches with one of those contests being played at Memorial Stadium against Mars Hill on Aug. 20.
"We have a very difficult schedule this season from start to finish," declared Kern. "Our team will be tested early but it should prepare us for the rigors of the Big South Conference. The Big South Conference is an outstanding soccer league with some great teams.
"However, we do have a veteran team back," added Kern. "Our guys are looking forward to the challenge of playing this schedule."
The Bulldogs open play with an exhibition match at Greenwood Field vs. Elon on Aug. 17, followed by the Memorial Stadium match (Aug. 20) vs. Mars Hill.
"We're always excited about playing matches at Memorial Stadium and the fact that this match is against a local team like Mars Hill should bring out an even bigger crowd than we've had before," commented Kern.
Asheville opens the 2011 season against Mercer at Greenwood Field on Aug. 27. The Bulldogs then play in their first of two tournaments when they travel to James Madison for the JMU/Fairfield Inn Invitational. Kern's club battles the host on Sept. 2 and takes on St. Bonaventure on Sept. 4.
Asheville entertains Brevard (Sept. 7) before heading to the Furman Invitational the following weekend. The Bulldogs face Furman (Sept. 9) and College of Charleston (Sept. 11) in the tourney.
Big South Conference play begins when Asheville travels to VMI (Sept. 24), followed by a road match at Appalachian State (Sept. 27).
After the ASU match, the Bulldogs play just Big South Conference games with the exception of their two matches with ACC schools. Asheville plays at North Carolina (Oct. 4) and Duke (Oct. 25).
The Bulldogs welcome Big South regular-season champion High Point to Greenwood Field (Oct. 8) and tournament champion Coastal Carolina (Oct. 15) on successive Saturday's. Kern's team completes the regular season with home matches against league foes Liberty (Oct. 29) and Presbyterian College (Nov. 5).
The Big South Conference Tournament will be held at Gardner-Webb on Nov. 10-13.