Stetson Men's Soccer Head Coach T. Logan Fleck announced the Hatters 2012 schedule on Wednesday afternoon. The slate includes three NCAA Tournament participants from a year ago.
"It's a very ambitious schedule," Fleck said on Wednesday. "All of the boys on the team realize that we're attempting to have a stronger schedule than we've ever had a Stetson before. We know we're an unproven and untested team, but the only way to get there is to go through those that have been proven it in the past."
The 2012 campaign begins with a trip to Penn State on August 25. The Hatters will take on last season's Big 10 runner-up for the second year in a row, after defeating the Nittany Lions by a score of 3-2 early in the 2011 season.
Stetson will then stay on the road to play at West Virginia on August 27. The Mountaineers advanced to the Second Round of last year's NCAA Tournament and finished with an 11-8-1 record. The road trip will continue as the Hatters play at Houston Baptist on September 1 at 8:00 p.m.
The newly renovated Stetson Soccer Complex will see its first men's soccer action on September 7 when the Hatters open Atlantic Sun Conference play with a 7:00 p.m. game against Jacksonville. Stetson continues the home stand with non-conference contests against Florida International and Florida Atlantic on September 22 and 26, respectively.
It's then back on the road for Stetson, playing at A-Sun opponent Mercer on October 7 before challenging UCF in Orlando on October 10. The Knights advanced to the NCAA Second Round in 2011 with a record of 12-6-3 and were recently picked to finish third in Conference USA's Preseason Poll.
The rest of the conference schedule includes home games against USC Upstate (Oct. 14), North Florida (Oct. 26), and ETSU (Oct. 28). The away schedule features tilts at Lipscomb (Oct. 19), newcomer to the league Northern Kentucky (Oct. 21), and defending champion and 2011 NCAA Tournament participant FGCU (Oct. 31).
Stetson will cap the regular season slate off with a road non-conference game against Georgia State on November 4. The A-Sun Tournament is scheduled for November 7-11, as the Hatters are attempting to make the field for the 14th straight season.