Greenville, S.C. -- A seven-match home schedule and non-conference contests with Xavier, Akron, James Madison and Clemson highlight the Furman men's soccer team's 2013 schedule, which was announced by Paladin head coach Doug Allison this week.
The Paladins open the season on August 24, with their annual exhibition contest versus nationally-ranked Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., before kicking off the regular season against a pair of 2012 NCAA Tournament participants at the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic at the College of Charleston. Furman will face Xavier in the tournament opener on August 30, at 5 p.m. and conclude the weekend with a noon time kickoff against 2010 national champion Akron on Sunday, September 1. The Zips, who posted an 18-1-3 record a year ago, finished the 2012 campaign ranked seventh in the NSCAA Top 25 while the Musketeers posted a top 40 RPI.
"We're looking forward to the 2013 season and excited to play a challenging schedule," said Allison, who has led the Paladins to nine SoCon regular season titles and six league tournament crowns. "Our early season games will test our team and prepare us for a tough Southern Conference schedule."
The 2013 home slate begins on September 7, as the Paladins host former Southern Conference rival College of Charleston in the Gray Griffin Memorial Game on Seagraves Field at Stone Stadium. Visits from Presbyterian, Vermont and Gardner-Webb, along with trips to East Tennessee State and James Madison follow before the Paladins open SoCon play at Appalachian State on September 29.
After trips to UNCG, Davidson and Upstate rival Clemson, Furman hosts defending SoCon Tournament champion Elon in its conference home opener on October 19. Home matches versus Georgia Southern (Oct. 29) and Wofford (Nov. 2) wrap up the regular season following a non-conference contest at Georgia State.
Furman will host the SoCon Men's Soccer Championship semifinals and final at Stone Stadium November 15-17, with a bid to the NCAA Tournament in the line.
The 2013 Paladins return seven starters from a squad that posted a 12-4-3 overall record and finished second in the SoCon with a 4-2-1 league mark last season. Furman is led by first team All-SoCon midfielders Martin Ontiveros (8G, 9A) and Michael Gandier (5G, 1A). Allison's team also returns SoCon All-Freshman picks Eric Steber and Tony Santibanez.