Columbus State Women’s Soccer Releases 2012 Schedule
Columbus – Four matches against 2011 NCAA Tournament participants and 13 against teams with a .500 or better record from a season ago is all that awaits the 2012 Columbus State University women's soccer team as head coach Jay Entlich announced the 2012 schedule Friday afternoon.
"We always feel like playing a challenging schedule prepares us for a deep run into the postseason," stated Entlich, who is entering his ninth season at the helm of the Lady Cougars. "Playing tough teams, especially on the road, helps you overcome adversity later on in the season."
Columbus State is coming off a 16-4-3 campaign in 2011 with all four of thier losses coming by one goal. The Lady Cougars reached the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight season and return 15 players including All-Americans Kansas Bayly and Stephanie Lowery.
The Lady Cougars will hit the road for 10 games this season facing opponents who had a combined record of 107-72-14 last year. Two games of those games will feature regional powers Lenoir-Rhyne and Peach Belt Conference foe Armstrong Atlantic State University.
The season will kick off with the annual CSU Collegiate Invitational at the Walden Soccer Complex as the Lady Cougars take on two Sunshine State Conference schools. In the opening match of the season, CSU takes on Florida Southern on Friday, August 31 at 7:30 p.m. Just two days later, Tampa will take the pitch against the Lady Cougars at 1:30 p.m. Last season, Tampa was 16-6-2 and reached the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.
From there, Columbus State plays six straight road matches beginning with a tilt against Lincoln Memorial on September 7. The weekend trip continues to Hickory, NC as the Lady Cougars take on Lenior-Rhyne (September 9). LR has eliminated CSU from the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons including a shootout victory a year ago.
After a mid-week match against Shorter on September 11, Peach Belt Conference play begins with arguably the most compelling match in the entire PBC this season as CSU takes on Armstrong in Savannah on September 15. The Pirates reached the national semifinals last season and defeated CSU 1-0 in the PBC Tournament finals with a last second goal. Columbus State and Armstrong has combined to win the last seven PBC regular season titles and six PBC Tournament championships.
The grueling road trip continues with a challenging mid-week match against Belmont Abbey on September 15. Belmont Abbey finished 2011 with a 12-7-2 record including an 8-2-1 mark at home. The trek through the Southeast finally concludes with a PBC game against USC Aiken on September 22.
Columbus State will host Georgia College on September 26 before hitting the road once again to square off against the newest member of the PBC, Young Harris on September 29. It will be the first ever meeting between these two schools.
The month of October begins with four straight home matches including conference contests against Georgia Southwestern (October 3) and Flagler (October 8).
On Friday October 12, North Alabama will come to Columbus to face off with the Lady Cougars. The Lions posted a 17-4 record last season and have made the NCAA Tournament the past three years. The homestand will conclude with a match against a rejuvenated Clayton State squad on October 14. After having three straight losing seasons, the Lakers posted a record of 9-7-2 in 2011.
Another critical PBC tilt will come against North Georgia in Dahlonega on October 17. The Lady Saints reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history in 2011 and were ranked as high as 11th in the national poll.
The final home match of the regular season will come against Lander on October 20 before CSU travels to face Montevallo on October 24. The final match of the regular season comes against UNC Pembroke on October 27. The two teams split a pair of matches last season with CSU defeating UNCP 1-0 in the opening round of the PBC Tournament.
The Peach Belt Conference Tournament will begin on October 30 with the first round games being played at campus sites. The final four will be played at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, GA beginning on November 2.
Blanchard Woods Park will also be the site for the NCAA Division II National Championship a month later.