Spartanburg, S.C. – Ten home matches and a challenging non-conference slate highlight the 2015 USC Upstate women’s soccer schedule, it was announced on Monday by head coach Abby Minihan.
Expectations are high this season as the Spartans return 10 starters from a 2014 team that allowed 14 fewer goals and 108 fewer shots en route to posting the best goals against average in school history during the Division I era.
“We have a great group of girls and we all have high hopes for this season,” Minihan said. “We made incredible improvements last season, and had the ball bounced our way maybe a time or two more, I believe we would have finished the season with much more favorable results.”
Upstate gets its first taste of 2015 with exhibition games at Campbell (Aug. 10) and at home against Big South champion Winthrop (Aug. 15).
The Spartans begin the regular season with three consecutive matches at County University Soccer Stadium, beginning with the opener against former Atlantic Sun Conference foe ETSU (Aug. 21). Upstate continues its homestand against The Citadel (Aug. 23) and Alabama State (Aug. 28) before embarking on a two-game road trip against Gardner-Webb (Aug. 30) and Furman (Sept. 3).
The schedule also features home non-conference contests against Radford (Sept. 6), Pennsylvania (Sept. 13) and South Carolina State (Sept. 29). Upstate visits Presbyterian (Sept. 11), High Point (Sept. 17), UNC Asheville (Sept. 19) and Francis Marion (Oct. 20) in non-conference road games.
“We are facing many of the same teams we played last season outside of our conference,” Minihan added. “However, we also added some new opponents like Radford and Penn that will provide a new and exciting challenge for us.”
Upstate opens A-Sun play at conference newcomer NJIT (Sept. 26) to begin a four-match road trip that also features Lipscomb (Oct. 3), Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 9) and Stetson (Oct. 11). The Spartans play their final three league games at home, taking on Jacksonville (Oct. 16), North Florida (Oct. 18) and Kennesaw State (Oct. 25) in Spartanburg.
“We are very excited about the overall strength of our schedule,” Minihan said. “We return the bulk of our roster from last season, including our core group, and we have added some very solid incoming players. We feel we have a team with a lot of experience that is hungry to get back out on the field and compete.”
Admittance to all USC Upstate women’s soccer games is free for all students with a valid Upstate ID.