DeLAND—Stetson women’s soccer announced its 2014 schedule today, a slate which includes 10 regular-season home games and road contests at ACC powers Miami and Florida State.
Second-year head coach Manoj Khettry returns seven starters and 12 letter winners from a 2013 team which qualified for post-season play for the first time in three years.
“This is more difficult of a non-conference schedule than we played last year,” said Khettry. “There are benefits to playing a difficult non-conference schedule because it does prepare you for conference play. The key, however, is in order to maintain and build confidence you have to win some games.”
Khettry will field one of the nation’s youngest teams in 2014, as the Hatters welcome 15 freshman into the program. He knows how the team readies for the season will likely dictate their success against a challenging slate.
“You want to have your players trained in the mentality that every game is a battle and you need to be prepared for it,” he said. “Every game is a battle you have to show up and compete every day.”
The Hatters open the season with a pair of exhibition games. Stetson visits USF on Aug. 15, and hosts county rival Embry-Riddle on Aug. 17.
Big Ten foe Minnesota serves as the season-opening opponent for the Hatters when the regular season officially kicks off Aug. 22 in DeLand. After a road contest at Florida Atlantic (Aug. 24), the Hatters return home for consecutive games against St. Leo (Aug. 29) and Navy (Aug. 31).
Stetson visits Miami (Fla.) on Sept. 5. Home games with Wingate (Sept. 7) and Bucknell (Sept. 12) precede a trip to Florida State on Sept. 14.
The Hatters open Atlantic Sun Conference play on Sept. 26 at Jacksonville. Stetson’s A-Sun home opener is Oct. 10 versus Lipscomb, the start of a season-best four-game home stand.
The A-Sun championship begins Nov. 1, with first round games at campus sites. The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Nov. 7 and 9 at the campus site of the highest remaining seed.