GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro men's soccer coach Michael Parker announced his 2009 schedule on Tuesday, which includes 10 home regular-season dates among the 18 contests.
One of the nation's most successful programs year in and year out, UNCG was in the unlikely role of Cinderella in last year's NCAA Tournament. Bouncing back from its first losing regular season in 30 years, the Spartans won the Southern Conference Tournament from the No. 7 seed and then knocked off Duke and ninth-seeded Loyola (Md.) on the road in the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Round of 16 for the fourth time in five years. UNCG (10-11-3) nearly advanced to the quarterfinal round, but a late goal in regulation and the advantage in penalty kicks gave South Florida the advance past the Spartans.
The Spartans will open exhibition play on Aug. 22 against Lees-McRae College at 7 p.m. After an exhibition match at NC State on Aug. 25 and an alumni game the following Saturday (Aug. 29), the Spartans will open the regular season at the Carolina Nike Classic. UNCG will face Evansville on Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. and Northern Illinois at 1 p.m. on Sept. 6.
UNCG's home opener will take place the following weekend when it hosts the annual UNCG Kickoff Classic. The Spartans will face Marshall at 7:30 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 11. The opener will have Elon facing Marshall at 5 p.m. Sunday's slate has Elon facing Marshall at 12 noon and UNCG hosting Longwood at 2:30 p.m.
The Spartans close out September with a home date against James Madison (Sept. 16), road games at UNC Wilmington (Sept. 19) and Campbell (Sept. 23) and consecutive home games against Charlotte (Sept. 26) and Furman (Sept. 30).
UNCG opens up October at Wofford on Oct. 3 before a brutal three-match stretch that has the Spartans hosting Wake Forest and College of Charleston (Oct. 6 and 10, respectively) and travelling to Duke on Oct. 13 for a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament first round match.
The Spartans close out non-league play on Oct. 17 when they host Gardner-Webb, returning to league action on Oct. 24 against Georgia Southern. The regular season closes with a road game at Appalachian State (Oct. 27), a home match with Davidson on Halloween night and the backyard-rivalry tilt with Elon on Nov. 7 to end the regular season.
The Spartans lost seven players from the 2008 squad, including MLS draftee Jokull Elisabetarson. However, along with returning seven of the 12 field players that started 10 or more matches last season, UNCG will regain the services of 2007 leading scorer Thomas Campbell, who missed all of 2008 following preseason knee surgery.
2009 UNCG Men's Soccer Schedule
Aug. 22 Lees-McRae (exhib.), 7 p.m.; Aug. 25 at NC State, 7 p.m. (exhib.); Aug. 29 Alumni Game, 7 p.m. (exhib.); Sept. 4 vs. Evansville (at Carolina Nike Classic), 5 p.m.; Sept. 6 vs. Northern Illinois (at Carolina Nike Classic), 1 p.m.; Sept. 11 Marshall (UNCG Kickoff Classic), 7:30 pm; Sept. 13 Longwood, 2:30 p.m.; Sept. 16 James Madison, 7 p.m.; Sept. 19 at UNC Wilmington, 7 p.m.; Sept. 23 at Campbell, 7 p.m.; Sept. 26 Charlotte, 7 p.m.; Sept. 30 Furman*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 3 at Wofford*, 5 p.m.; Oct. 6 Wake Forest, 7 p.m.; Oct. 10 College of Charleston*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 13 at Duke, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17 Gardner-Webb, 7 p.m.; Oct. 24 Georgia Southern*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 27 at Appalachian State*, 7 p.m.; Oct. 31 Davidson, 7 p.m.; Nov. 7 at Elon, 7 p.m.; Nov. 13 & 15 at Southern Conference Championship (four teams – highest seed), TBA.
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