ATLANTA – The Georgia State men’s soccer team will face many talented programs across the country as the team will try to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, as the 19-match 2013 fall schedule was announced on Thursday.
The Panthers will be forced to earn an at-large bid via their overall record, as they are temporarily without a conference for this 2013 season. The Sun Belt Conference, where all other Georgia State sports are competing in, does not sponsor men’s soccer.There are options for soccer leagues for future seasons that will continue to be explored for the team. This year, GSU will compete with teams from 13 different states. They'll meet teams from California to Florida, from Washington to West Virginia, and the nearby southeastern states.
The Panthers’ strong 2103 schedule will go a long way in helping them earn a bid, as they face four teams that competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, including one who made it all the way to the quarterfinals.
Georgia State will open its schedule with a home match against Liberty on Friday, Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. at the GSU Soccer Complex. Two days later on Sunday, Sept. 1, the Panthers will travel to Kentucky, to face the Wildcats who made an appearance in the NCAA tournament.
A trip to Las Vegas for the UNLV Nike Invitational will give GSU more national competition. On Friday, Sept. 6, Georgia State will face UC-Riverside (10-6 last year) and on Sunday, Sept. 8, the Panthers will battle host UNLV Rebels of the WAC.
On Friday, Sept. 20, the Panthers will face off with Seattle in Seattle, Wash. Two days later, on Sept. 22, the Panthers will remain on the west coast to face Washington. The Huskies of Washington advanced to second round of the NCAA tournament last season.
The Panthers will then return home to host a trio of matches: Lipscomb on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m., UNCG on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. and Wofford on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.
Georgia State will take on in-state rival Georgia Southern at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 at the Eagles’ home field in Statesboro. The Panthers then travel to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday, Oct. 19 in Morgantown.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Georgia State will face-off with North Carolina, who advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals in this year’s NCAA tournament.
"We have put together a very difficult schedule this fall, easily the most challenging since I have been at GSU,” coach Brett Surrency said. “Our goal was to develop a schedule that we felt would be strong enough to get us into the NCAA tournament.
“With the schedule now set, the next step will be to go out and win enough games so that at the end of the year we are in position for an at-large bid to the tourney. We are pleased and confident in how our roster has come together for the fall and can't wait to get back going again in August."
The Panthers will close out their season with home match against Belmont on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.
Visit the men's soccer home page on www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for all the latest news as the team prepares for the 2013 campaign.
For the complete schedule, CLICK HERE.