Three home matches to start the season and three contests against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago highlight the 2013 Stetson Women’s Soccer schedule, which was released on Monday.
The Hatters open the 2013 slate in the friendly confines of the Athletics Training Center on Friday, Aug. 23, playing host to Embry-Riddle. The Eagles, who fell to Stetson in overtime last season, went on to win 17 games and advance to the NAIA National Quarterfinals.
Home tilts against Troy and 2012 Sun Belt Conference runner-up Florida International will follow. The Trojans visit DeLand on Aug. 25, while the match against the Panthers will conclude the Hatters’ home-stand on Aug. 30.
Stetson will finish the non-conference schedule with five games away from home. The road trip begins Sept. 6 at Southern Conference Champion and NCAA Tournament team Georgia Southern.
After a meeting with South Carolina State on Sept. 8, the Hatters will return to Florida to take on UCF in Orlando on Sept. 13. The Knights won Conference USA a year ago, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Two of the six non-conference opponents with winning records a year ago, Eastern Michigan and Detroit will welcome Stetson to the Great Lakes State for the team’s final games before Atlantic Sun Conference play. The Hatters will take on the Eagles on Sept. 20, and will challenge the Titans on Sept. 22.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how we do against the likes of Florida International, and playing road games at Georgia Southern and at UCF,” Stetson head coach Manoj Khettry said regarding the non-conference schedule. “I’m hopeful that the non-conference season prepares us for the rigors of conference play.”
The regular slate of A-Sun games will begin on Sept. 27 as North Florida makes the trip south to DeLand. Jacksonville (Sept. 29), USC Upstate (Oct. 11), ETSU (Oct. 13), and Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 26) are also on the Hatters’ home schedule for 2013.
Stetson will make road trips to Lipscomb (Oct. 4), Northern Kentucky (Oct. 6), Kennesaw State (Oct. 18), and Mercer (Oct. 20) during the A-Sun season.
“I haven’t seen us play a competitive match, so I don’t know what our competitive identity will be, but my experience with conference games is that they are battles,” Khettry continued. “It doesn’t matter what the name is on the shirt, they are typically one-goal games. We need to make sure that through the non-conference action that we learn to compete so that we can be on the right side of those one-goal games in conference play. It will be cool to end the season against Florida Gulf Coast, so we have a chance to see where we stack up against a team that has been one of the best in the conference.”
The top six teams will advance to the Atlantic Sun Tournament with the first round scheduled for Nov. 2 at the campus sites of the higher seeds. The semifinals and finals will be held at number one seed’s home field on Nov. 8 and 10, respectively.