ROCK HILL, SC—Winthrop head men’s soccer coach Rich Posipanko announced a 20-game schedule for the upcoming 2014 season. The schedule includes three exhibition games and 10 home contests.
The Eagles finished the 2013 season with an 11-7-1 mark against a competitive schedule despite a slew of injuries to their starting lineup. Winthrop will have another challenging slate with nine teams that were either ranked nationally or regionally over the course of the 2013 season. Winthrop began the 2013 season 7-0-1 and was just one of three teams in the Big South Conference to record double-figure wins.
This year’s schedule includes four teams coming off NCAA Tournament appearances, three teams that finished the 2013 season ranked in the Top 25 in Coastal Carolina, Elon and Charlotte while six other opponents finished ranked in their respective regions.
“Our goal each year is to always put together the most challenging schedule possible,” said Posipanko. “There are nine teams on the schedule that were ranked either regionally or nationally at some point last season. Even though we have 8-9 starters and 20 returning players, we will start the season with three exhibition games. The hope is that the extra exhibition game will allow for better preparation before the start of the regular season. We hope this schedule will prepare us for another run at a Big South Championship and return to the NCAA College Cup.”
Winthrop’s 11 wins in 2013 now gives Posipanko 15 season in which the team has picked up 10 or more wins in a season.
The season begins with three exhibition games that include a road contest on Aug. 16 at the College of Charleston followed by home matches against Lenoir-Rhyne on Aug. 20 and Queens on Aug. 24.
Winthrop will begin the regular season with four straight games away from home beginning with the Big South/Southern Shootout in Boiling Springs, NC Aug. 29-31. On Aug. 29 Winthrop will face Wofford in its opener and then take on Georgia Southern on Sunday, Aug. 31.
The following weekend the Eagles will travel to Wilmington, NC for the UNCW Hilton Garden Inn Classic. The Eagles will face Elon on Friday, Sept 5. The Phoenix finished 2013 ranked 22nd in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25 after it qualified for the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round. Winthrop will face UNCW squad that finished 9th in the South Region on Sunday, Sept. 7.
The regular season home schedule opens up on Saturday, Sept. 13 with a match against Charlotte. Last season the 49ers finished the year ranked 23rd in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25 and had a first round bye in the NCAA Tournament before falling 1-0 at home to Coastal Carolina. This game marks the first of six straight at Eagle field as the Eagles will face USC Upstate (Sept. 17), Brevard (Sept. 21), East Tennessee State (Sept. 23), Liberty (Sept. 27) and Longwood (Oct. 4).
ETSU finished 2013 with 2-0 loss to Coastal Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and have a final ranking of 10th in the South Region. Winthrop opens up Big South play against Liberty on Sept. 27 and will play four of its first six league games at home before finished with three straight on the road. Liberty finished the season ranked 11th in the South Atlantic Region as it advanced to the championship game of the conference as the seventh-seed.
The Eagles remaining home games in the Big South are against Gardner-Webb (Oct. 22) and High Point (Oct. 25).
The road schedule in league play begins on Oct. 10 at Presbyterian College followed by an Oct. 18 contest at UNC Asheville. The final three games of the regular season will be played on the road at Coastal Carolina (Oct. 29), Campbell (Nov. 1), and Radford (Nov. 5).
Coastal Carolina finished the year as Big South Conference champions and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before falling 1-0 to California. The Chanticleers finished the season ranked 15th in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25 and were ranked as high as 5th in 2013. Radford finished the year tied for 11th with Liberty in the South Atlantic Region.
The 2014 Big South Conference Men’s Soccer Championship will be played at Bryan Park in Greensboro, NC for the third consecutive season with the semi-finals on Nov. 14 and the championship game on Nov. 16. The first round games will be played on Nov. 11 at the home site of the tournament’s top four teams.
DAY DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME
Saturday August 16 College of Charleston (exh.) Charleston, SC 7:00 PM
Wednesday August 20 Lenior-Rhyne (exh.) Rock Hill, SC 6:00 PM
Sunday August 24 Queens (exh.) Rock Hill, SC 3:00 PM
Friday August 29 Wofford Boiling Springs, NC 4:00 PM
(Big South/Southern Shootout)
Sunday August 31 Georgia Southern
(Big South/Southern Shootout) Boiling Springs, NC 4:00 PM
Friday September 5 Elon Wilmington, NC 5:00 PM
(UNCW Hilton Garden Inn Classic)
Sunday September 7 UNC Wilmington Wilmington, NC 2:30 PM
(UNCW Hilton Garden Inn Classic)
Saturday September 13 Charlotte Rock Hill, SC 6:00 PM
Wednesday September 17 USC Upstate Rock Hill, SC 6:00 PM
Sunday September 21 Brevard College Rock Hill, SC 6:00 PM
Tuesday September 23 East Tennessee State Rock Hill, SC 6:00 PM
Saturday September 27 Liberty Rock Hill, SC 2:00 PM
Saturday October 4 Longwood Rock Hill, SC 6:00 PM
Friday October 10 Presbyterian College Clinton, SC 6:00 PM
Saturday October 18 UNC Asheville Asheville, NC 4:30 PM
Wednesday October 22 Gardner-Webb Rock Hill, SC 6:00 PM
Saturday October 25 High Point Rock Hill, SC 6:00 PM
Wednesday October 29 Coastal Carolina Conway, SC 6:00 PM
Saturday November 1 Campbell Buies Creek, NC 7:00 PM
Wednesday November 5 Radford Radford, VA 6:00 PM
Tuesday November 11 Big South Quarter-Finals TBD TBA
Friday November 14 Big South Semi-Finals Greensboro, NC TBA
Sunday November 16 Big South Championship Greensboro, NC TBA