ELON, N.C. – Coming off its first Southern Conference Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance, Elon head men’s soccer coach Darren Powell has announced the Phoenix’s schedule for the 2012 season, which begins with an August 25 contest at Rhodes Stadium against local rival High Point.
The team’s 2012 slate consists of six opponents that made the NCAA Tournament last season, including Coastal Carolina, Charlotte, West Virginia, Furman, Wake Forest and Duke. Four of the six matches will take place on campus at Rudd Field, including a Sept. 22 match versus 2011 national runner-up Charlotte.
“We are excited to have put together another competitive schedule for 2012 that includes several BCS conference teams and conference champions,” commented Powell. “It is important to prepare the team with challenging non-conference opponents so that the group is ready for the Southern Conference schedule. We look forward to another high capacity crowd against High Point in Rhodes Stadium on Elon’s move-in weekend to open our season.”
After a pair of exhibition contests against UNC Asheville (August 15) and at South Carolina (August 18), the Phoenix hosts instate rival High Point at 8 p.m. under the lights at Rhodes Stadium on August 25. Last season, Elon and HPU played to a scoreless draw at Rhodes Stadium in front of a record crowd of 3,119 fans.
After a home tilt with Campbell on Sept. 1, the Phoenix shuffles off to the Music City for the Lipscomb Tournament on Sept. 7-9 in Nashville, Tenn. Elon takes on Lipscomb on Sept. 7 before facing Belmont on Sept. 9.
A trip to the beach awaits the Phoenix following the Lipscomb Tournament, as the team heads to Conway, S.C., to face Coastal Carolina. Elon and Coastal met twice last season with the Chanticleers claiming wins in both meetings, including a 4-3 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
After wrapping up its four-game road stretch at William & Mary on Sept. 19 in Williamsburg, Va., Elon returns home to face Charlotte on Sept. 22.
Following a home matchup with Radford on Sept. 25, the Phoenix gets its first taste of SoCon play when it heads to Davidson on Sept. 28. It will mark the 10th all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Wildcats, as Elon leads the series, 6-3.
Elon will face another tough opponent in its next match, as the team heads to Morgantown, W.Va., on Oct. 2 to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. The two teams have battled to draws in two previous all-time meetings.
The Phoenix jumps back into SoCon play following its contest at WVU, as Elon welcomes Furman to campus on Oct. 6. The last meeting between the two squads took place in last year’s SoCon Tournament, as Elon came away with a 1-0 blanking of the 16th-ranked Paladins in the tournament semifinals en route to the title game. Three days later, Elon welcomes Wofford to Rudd Field for a 7 p.m. contest.
Elon makes the long trek to Statesboro, Ga., on Oct. 12 for a key league matchup at Georgia Southern. The Phoenix and Eagles split two meetings last year, with Elon claiming a 1-0 win in the last meeting on Nov. 6 in the first round of the SoCon Tournament.
After two key league games against College of Charleston (Oct. 16) and at Appalachian State (Oct. 20), the Phoenix welcomes Wake Forest to Rudd Field on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. Last season, Elon came away with an impressive 2-0 shutout over the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, N.C.
A rematch of last year’s SoCon Tournament title game will take place on Oct. 27 in Greensboro, N.C., when the maroon and gold makes the short drive down I-40 to face UNCG. The Phoenix claimed a 3-2 win over the Spartans in the tournament title game last year en route to its first NCAA Tournament appearance.
Elon closes out its home slate with another Atlantic Coast Conference opponent on Oct. 30, as the Phoenix welcomes the Duke Blue Devils to Rudd Field at 7 p.m. Elon and Duke battled to a 2-2 draw last year in Durham, N.C.
The Phoenix looks to make its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and defend its title from a year ago when the 2012 SoCon Men’s Soccer Championship begin on Nov. 3 on campus sites before shifting to Greenville, S.C., for the semifinals and championship match on Nov. 9 and 11.