ATLANTA – Reigning Sun Belt Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champion Georgia State men’s soccer announced its 2019 schedule Tuesday afternoon, with GSU set to begin its title defense on Aug. 30 with a road match against Presbyterian in the regular season opener.

The Panthers will open the fall with three exhibition matches, starting with a pair of Division II opponents in Clayton State (Aug. 17) and Montevallo (Aug. 20). Georgia State will round out the preseason with a road contest against GSU head coach Brett Surrency’s alma mater Jacksonville on Aug. 23.

“I’m excited about the schedule we have put together this fall and think it will be super competitive,” Surrency said. “We anticipate the Sun Belt to take another positive step forward and know that it will be a huge challenge for our young team to try and repeat as champions.”

After the regular-season opener against Presbyterian on Aug. 30, Surrency’s club will return home to take on Belmont on Sept. 2. The Panthers then travel to square off against UNC Asheville on Sept. 7 before hosting North Florida on Sept. 9.

Three of GSU’s next four matches will be on the road, as the blue and white travel to take on Gardner Webb on Sept. 17 then return home for a fixture against Winthrop on Sept. 21. Back-to-back away contests against ETSU on Sept. 28 and Stetson on Oct. 1 will take the Panthers into October, the busiest month of the season.

While the number of matches cranks up in October for Georgia State, (Eight of GSU’s 17 regular season matches will be held in October) so does its competition.

After the Stetson match the Panthers will welcome 2018 So-Con Regular Season Champion Mercer to the GSU Soccer Complex on Oct. 5 and will then travel to take on Lipscomb in Nashville, Tenn. on Oct. 8. Lipscomb, who made it to the Sweet 16 of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament, is one of three opponents on GSU’s schedule who made last year’s NCAA Tournament.

GSU kicks off league play on Oct. 12 as it hosts rival Georgia Southern in a rematch of the 2018 SBC Tournament Championship. The Panthers next embark on a three-match road trip, taking on Charlotte (Oct. 15), Howard (Oct. 19) and Coastal Carolina (Oct. 26).

Georgia State will have a shot at redemption when the Panthers face Charlotte on Oct. 15, as the 49ers edged past GSU in penalty kicks in the opening round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

GSU will have its final two home matches of the season on Oct. 29 against UAB and Nov. 2 against the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champion Central Arkansas, who will be in its first season with the Sun Belt.

The Panthers will conclude the regular season and conference play with an away game at Appalachian State on Nov. 9.

The 2019 Sun Belt Championship will be hosted by Appalachian State Nov. 14-17 in Boone, N.C.