ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Nine home matches plus a date at former Big South Conference rival UNC Greensboro highlights the 2012 UNC Asheville 19-match women's soccer schedule. The schedule was announced today by third-year head coach Michelle Demko.
"This year's schedule will be a great test for us. We are playing new opponents in our non conference such as UNC Greensboro and Albany that will prepare us for the talent in the Big South Conference," stated Demko. "The strength of schedule is arguably as strong as this program has seen in the past few years and will continue to push our program toward a direction of competing for conference championships. I am excited to see how this team comes together and responds to this test."
The Bulldogs open the 2012 season on the road at Eastern Kentucky on Aug. 17 before returning to Greenwood Field for their home opener vs. East Tennessee State two days later.
Asheville travels to UNC Greensboro on Aug. 26. The match with the Spartans marks the first time the two programs have met since the 1996 Big South Conference match, won by UNCG on penalty kicks. The Spartan program joined the Southern Conference the following year.
Demko's club heads to USC Upstate on Aug. 30. The Bulldogs return to Greenwood Field to face Albany for the first time ever. The Great Danes compete in the America East Conference and advanced to their league title game in 2011.
After playing at Furman on Sept. 6, the Bulldogs are back in Greenwood Field for two matches. Asheville hosts Wofford (Sept. 9) and Appalachian State (Sept. 14).
Big South Conference play begins with two matches on the road in the state of Virginia. The Bulldogs take on league newcomer Longwood (Sept. 20) and Liberty (Sept. 22).
Asheville's first league home match is vs. VMI (Sept. 27). Two days later, the Bulldogs welcome defending BSC champ Radford (Sept. 29) to Greenwood Field. Asheville pushed the Highlanders in last year's Big South Conference Tournament before falling in penalty kicks.
The Bulldogs are on the road at Campbell (Oct. 4) and High Point (Oct. 6). Asheville completes the regular season with three of its final four matches at Greenwood Field, all against league opponents. The Bulldogs host Coastal Carolina (Oct. 11), Gardner-Webb (Oct. 18) and Winthrop (Oct. 20). The Blue & White's final two regular-season road matches are with Charleston Southern (Oct. 13) and Presbyterian College (Oct. 23).
Big South Conference regular-season standings will be doubly important this year as the quarterfinals of the league tournament will be held at the top four finishers with the winners advancing to the league championship.