GW Men's Soccer Announces 2012 Schedule
July 13, 2012
WASHINGTON - The George Washington men's soccer team will host eight games at the GW Soccer Field on the Mount Vernon Campus and will participate in a pair of early-season tournaments as part of its 18-match 2012 schedule, first-year head coach Craig Jones announced today.
The Colonials are slated to return 14 letterwinners and six starters from last season's squad, which posted a 10-6-3 overall record and 7-2-0 conference mark, claiming a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season crown before falling to Xavier on penalty kicks in the title game.
GW will play exhibition matches against Lehigh and 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifier Old Dominion in the lead-up to the season. The Colonials will host the Mountain Hawks on Aug. 16 at 4 p.m. before visiting the Monarchs two days later.
"We start the season with two tough scrimmages against Lehigh and ODU," Coach Jones said. "These games will get the new players experience against two very strong teams and give us an idea where we are as a group as we move forward."
GW officially kicks off its 2012 campaign with its first-ever matchup with Long Island on Aug. 24 at 4 p.m.
"I cannot think of a better way to start the regular season than at home," Coach Jones said. "Personally, it's special to me as I open my head coaching career at home and at my alma mater. But more importantly, it's what all the planning and preparation has been for - it's the start of a journey for our players which they have been waiting for since last fall. I know they will be looking forward to it."
The 12th annual D.C. College Cup will be played on the campus of American University beginning Aug. 30, with GW opening the tournament against George Mason at 2:30 p.m. The Colonials will also meet Howard on Sept. 1 at 12 p.m.
The following weekend, the Colonials head to Lexington, Va., for the J. Sculley Memorial Tournament at VMI, where they will face the host Keydets on Sept. 7 and Big South Conference champion Liberty on Sept. 9.
GW next visits Bryant on Sept. 16 in the return match following last season's thrilling 3-2 victory when Seth Rudolph chipped in the game-winning with 86 seconds remaining.
The Colonials wrap up non-conference play with three straight home matches against UMBC, NJIT and Longwood. GW hosts the Retrievers on Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. for the annual Kickin' It at the Vern event, then welcomes the Highlanders for a midweek contest on Sept. 26 at 3 p.m. The Colonials complete non-conference action on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. against the 2011 Atlantic Soccer Conference champion Lancers for Alumni Day.
GW begins its A-10 title defense with a pair of games in Richmond, Va., against Richmond (Oct. 5) and conference newcomer VCU (Oct. 7).
The Colonials then return to Mount Vernon for their final four home games of the season in back-to-back weekends. La Salle and Fordham visit the District on Oct. 12 and 14, respectively; the match against Fordham, with whom GW shared the 2011 A-10 regular-season title, will be Kids Day. The Colonials complete their home slate on Oct. 19 and 21 - Colonials Weekend - against Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and they will celebrate Senior Day against the Minutemen, bidding farewell to seniors Zach Abaie, Alejandro Almodovar, Daniel Ripperger-Suhler and Rudolph.
GW concludes the regular season with three straight road contests, starting with a Midwest trip to A-10 newcomer Butler (Oct. 26) and Saint Louis (Oct. 28) before the season finale at 2011 NCAA finalist Charlotte on Nov. 3.
"One thing I've learned over the past few years is that the Atlantic 10 Conference gets better and better each year, and every game is a difficult one," Coach Jones said. "Two teams on the schedule this year - UMass and Charlotte - have reached the Final Four in the past five years, and the additions of VCU and Butler, both of whom we play on the road this year, only adds to the level of play in the conference."
The 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship will be held at the 49ers' Transamerica Field Nov. 8-11.