ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville women’s soccer team opens the 2013 season Friday afternoon at Greenwood Field when the Bulldogs host Eastern Kentucky starting at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
Friday’s match will be seen on the Big South Digital Network and can be seen for no cost at uncabulldogs.com under the multimedia tag. Live stats will also be provided, also under the multimedia tag.
Asheville played one exhibition match and fell to Charlotte, 1-0 on Saturday at home. The Bulldogs are looking for their first win over the Colonels. EKU edged Asheville, 2-1 last season in Richmond, Ky. The Colonels were 10-7-3 last year with a 6-3-1 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference.
"It's always exciting to play the first game of the season and to do it at home in front of our friends, family and fans will make it that much more enjoyable,” stated Bulldog coach Michelle Demko. “We have worked hard for two weeks. Our speed of play is looking good right now. The freshmen have done a good job to adjust to a higher level technically and tactically. The returners have set the standards for them and have jumped right in without hesitation.
“Our movement without the ball is getting better with each session,” added Demko. “We spent time on connecting our lines as it relates to transition so we will see Friday how that component looks. We are all looking forward to starting the season, and we will need to be ready as Eastern Kentucky will be a good team. I expect both teams to battle for the result for the entire 90 minutes."
The Bulldogs look to improve on their 5-14-0 overall record in 2012. Asheville returns seven starters and 13 letterwinners from last year’s club.
Asheville is home again next Thursday (Aug. 29) when the Bulldogs entertain USC Upstate at Greenwood Field starting at 5 p.m.
Junior goalkeeper Heather Muller is expected to start on Friday. She has played every minute of every match the past two seasons. Friday’s match will be her 40th straight start for the Blue & White. Muller has 245 career saves which is fourth best in school history. She needs 23 to move past Veronica Lazar (267) into third place. She tied a single-season school record for saves in a season in 2012 with 125.
UNC Asheville is looking for its first opening day victory since a 1-0 triumph over Tennessee Tech in the 2007 season.
The Bulldogs scored 38 goals last season, the fourth most in the Big South Conference. It was the most goals scored by an Asheville team since it scored 42 in the 2005 campaign.
Asheville is 0-2-0 all-time against Eastern Kentucky. The Bulldog program owns victories over Ohio Valley Conference schools, Austin Peay and Tennessee Tech.