Upstate Men's Soccer Releases 2012 Schedule
Spartanburg, S.C. – Following its most successful season on the Division I level, the USC Upstate men's soccer program and head coach Greg Hooks announce the 2012 schedule, which will begin with its regular season opener at Clemson on Aug. 24.
"I look forward to the 2012 season with a schedule I believe will provide a great opportunity for our players to reap the benefits of their hard work," said Hooks, a member of the Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame and entering his 18th season at the helm of the program. "Our players want to play a quality schedule, and with the strength of our region, coupled with the talented teams within the A-Sun, it is not difficult to get a schedule comprised completely of very good opponents."
Upstate will play a pair of exhibition matches in mid-August, facing Spartanburg Methodist College on Aug. 17 and Wilmington (Del.) on Aug. 21. The Spartans open regular season play at Clemson in a 7:00 pm start at historic Riggs Field. The last time the Spartans and Tigers met on the field came in an exhibition game at County University Soccer Stadium in 2010, a 2-1 victory by Upstate.
"We open at Clemson, so we will know quickly where we are in terms of being nationally competitive," said Hooks. "I am very confident in our players, and I know that they will prove to be up to the task."
Upstate will play six regular season home games at County University Soccer Stadium, four of which will be A-Sun Conference games. The Spartans will hit the road for 10 away games during the regular season, four of which will be league contests. Upstate will play two teams, Florida Gulf Coast and Furman, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011.
Upstate will play host to Jacksonville (Oct. 5), North Florida (Oct. 7), Mercer (Oct. 28) and East Tennessee State (Nov. 3) in conference play at County University Soccer Stadium, while hitting the road to take on league foes Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 12), Stetson (Oct. 14), Lipscomb (Oct. 21) and new A-Sun member Northern Kentucky (Oct. 31).
Upstate will host Presbyterian College (Sept. 3) and Furman (Sept. 21) in non-conference games. The Spartans will hit the road to take on non-conference opponents Clemson (Aug. 24), UNC Asheville (Aug. 27), Wofford (Sept. 19) and Winthrop (Sept. 25). The Spartans will play Appalachian State (Sept. 8) and Davidson (Sept. 10) in Davidson's Tournament.
Upstate will be one of eight A-Sun teams battling for a spot in the six-team A-Sun Tournament. Northern Kentucky, which will play its first season on the Division I level as it transitions its athletics program from the Division II ranks, is ineligible to compete in the A-Sun Tournament. The higher seeded teams will host the two first round tournament games on Nov. 7, while the No. 1 seed will host the semifinals and championship on Nov. 9 and 11.