ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville women's soccer team will play its only exhibition game Saturday afternoon against Atlantic 10 foe Charlotte at Transamerica Field starting at 2 p.m.


The Bulldogs have been practicing for a week preparing for the 2012 season. Asheville coach Michelle Demko is excited about this year's team but knows her team is in for a tough test at Charlotte.


"Charlotte has a solid program and has most of its team back from last season," explained Demko. "I like the team we have, and our training has been good this week. However, we've had a couple of injuries which are going to cause some players to miss the Charlotte match."


Asheville returns 11 letterwinners and seven starters from last year's club that went 4-15-1. The Bulldogs are a preseason pick to finish in ninth place in the Big South 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 scored 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 on the season.


The Bulldogs' season begins on Friday, Aug. 17 when they travel to Eastern Kentucky for a 5 p.m. kick-off. Asheville's first home match at Greenwood Field is Sunday, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. vs. East Tennessee State.