ATLANTA--A return trip to Durham, N.C., the site of the Georgia State men's soccer team's first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, highlights a challenging 2012 fall schedule announced on Monday.
The Panthers battle Duke, which finished last season ranked No. 29 in the final RPI standings, on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. Later in the month, Georgia State takes on another national power from the ACC when it travels to College Park, Md., for a Sept. 24 showdown against Maryland. The Terrapins posted a 14-4-3 record, earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and finished the year ranked No. 9 in the final NSCAA Coaches Poll.
The Panthers kick-off their 2012 fall slate with two matches in Jacksonville, Fla. Georgia State faces Jacksonville, the alma mater of third-year head coach Brett Surrency, to open its season on Friday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. GSU caps the weekend with a match at North Florida at 3 p.m. on Aug. 26.
GSU opens its home schedule against Evansville University of the Missouri Valley Conference on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Panthersville. Admission to all Georgia State soccer matches is free for all fans.
Following the Duke match, GSU battles two local rivals in Georgia Southern at Panthersville (Sept. 14, 4 p.m.) and Mercer in Macon, Ga. (Sept. 16, 7 p.m.). Georgia State begins CAA play on Sept. 22 with a match at Towson (Noon). The first home CAA contest of the 2012 season takes place on Sept. 29 when the Panthers host last year's CAA champions Delaware for a 7 p.m. match.
"We definitely have a difficult fall schedule, but we also have an experienced group of players," Surrency said, "We look forward to each of the challenges this schedule presents."
In total, GSU takes on five NCAA Tournament teams from last season. Including Duke, Maryland and Delaware, Georgia State hosts Old Dominion on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. and travels to Harrisonburg, Va. to play last year's No. 14 seed in James Madison (Oct. 27, 7 p.m.).
The Georgia State men's soccer team returns to the field for preseason training in early August. The team is coming off a historic season in which it set many program benchmarks, including its highest RPI ranking finish in school history at No. 36. Five newcomers join a squad that returns nine starters from the team that took the field at Duke in last year's NCAA Tournament first round matchup. Visit the men's soccer home page on www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for all the latest news as the team prepares for the 2012 campaign