SAINT LEO, Fla. - Just as the Lions have laced up their cleats for preseason training, Saint Leo University head women's soccer coach Ged O'Connor has unveiled his team's 2012 regular season schedule. The 16-game lineup features a total of 14 NCAA regional games against teams from the Sunshine State Conference, with seven matches played on their home turf.
After finishing last season as the regular season conference champions with a record of 15-3-1, the Lions will begin the year ranked second in the SSC preseason poll.
"I am excited about our season," said O'Connor. "We have a challenging schedule both inside the conference and out, but I feel we will be able to be play our opponents tough each time we hit the field."
While the new season includes the addition of 13 new faces to the team, it also includes an entirely restructured conference schedule. Using this new scheduling system, the Lions will compete against the usual 8 SSC teams, as well as an additional four randomly selected SSC opponents in matches of non-conference play.
The Lions 2012 season will kickoff with home field advantage on Thursday, August 30, against Warner University at 7:30pm.
Four days later, the Lions will take on Webber International (Sept. 3) before heading to Georgia for a two game stint against Tusculum and Georgia College. Their return to the sunshine state will signal the beginning of conference play as they take on the Fighting Knights at Lynn University (Sept. 12).
After two home games versus Barry (Sept. 15) and the defending conference champions of Tampa (Sept. 19), the Lions will travel to Melbourne, Fla. to compete against the Panthers (Sept. 22) before heading home to face Eckerd (Sept. 26) as they wrap up their September schedule.
As the leaves begin to change and autumn approaches, the Lions will face the Moccasins (Oct. 3) on Florida Southern's home field before returning to Saint Leo University to face Nova Southeastern (Oct. 6).
A non-conference away game against Barry (Oct. 10) will force the Lions to crank up the heat as they head to east to compete against Rollins (Oct. 13) for their last conference game of the regular season. The last trio of games prior to postseason play features a home showdown against Florida Tech (Oct. 17) before honoring the team's seniors at the final regular season home game on Wednesday, Oct. 20 against Lynn, followed by their final contest at Tampa (Oct. 24).
The SSC Tournament is scheduled to take place between Tuesday, October 30 and Sunday, November 4. Places and times are still to be determined.