The 2012-13 season is finally about to get under way for the Georgia State women’s soccer team. The Panthers will take on Auburn on the road Friday night and host Jacksonville State on Sunday.

With new head coach Derek Leader leading the way, the Panthers will take on SEC tournament champions Auburn, at Auburn, this Friday night at 8 p.m. This will be Leader’s first official match at Georgia State, as well as his first match as a head coach.

“I’m excited for this match, and I think we are all excited,” Leader said. “This is a big opportunity for our team. Auburn is a top-notch program and we are looking forward to high-quality play. We expect the speed of play to be fast, and it should be a very exciting match.”

Auburn returns a very experienced team after finishing 15-7-2 last season. The Tigers return 17 letterwinners after only losing six, none of those being starters. En route to an SEC Tournament championship, Auburn beat LSU, Tennessee and No. 23 Florida in the title game. This earned the team a NCAA tournament matchup with No. 18 Maryland, whom the Tigers lost to 1-0.

After Friday’s game in Alabama, the Panthers will return to the GSU Soccer Complex to host Jacksonville State on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Gamecocks are coming off a 2-13-4 season, but have nine starters returning to the team. They also have nine newcomers joining the team this season.

“We are looking for a good turnout for our first home match of the season,” Leader said. “We look forward to our girls showcasing their talents to all their families, peers and to all those in attendance.”

Both matches will have live stats available for those who cannot make it to the match. Sunday’s home contest against Jacksonville State will take place at the GSU Soccer Complex and will have free admission.