Head coach Steve DeCou and the Georgia Gwinnett College men’s soccer team released the team’s 2014 fall schedule, highlighted by seven home contests in Lawrenceville and another showdown with 2013 NAIA championship finalist Auburn Montgomery.
The Grizzlies, the defending Association of Independent Institutions champions, will look to build on their first NAIA national tournament appearance last fall.
“Our 2014 schedule will be a great test for our program,” DeCou said. “We continue to face teams that will challenge us, while adding several new opponents to our schedule. The goal is to prepare our team for another postseason run as we look to take that next step.
“We expect to challenge once again for the A.I.I. championship and after earning a taste of the national tournament last year, the goal is to build further on that success.”
This season, the Grizzlies have 18 games slated against top competition from around the NAIA, with eight first-time opponents.
The campaign kicks off Aug. 29 with a neutral site game against Lyon (Ark.) in Lebanon, Tenn. The Grizzlies then take on host Cumberland (Tenn.) on Aug. 30.
The team returns to Lawrenceville for its first home game Sept. 3 against Truett-McConnell at 7 p.m.
Seven games will be played at home at the Grizzly Soccer Complex in Lawrenceville. GGC has won 14 of 19 games on campus over two seasons.
The Grizzlies have six in-state foes on the schedule, including NCAA Division II opponent Shorter on Sept. 27. Meanwhile, GGC will face five teams from the state of Tennessee and three from Alabama to highlight the southeastern schedule.
The Grizzlies have two games in August, seven in September, six in October and three in November leading into postseason play.
Senior Day is slated for Nov. 8, against Bob Jones (S.C.) in the regular-season finale.
Georgia Gwinnett will look to defend its A.I.I. title this fall, as the four-team championship will be held at Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, Nov. 14-15. The Grizzlies defeated then-No. 3 Ashford in last year’s A.I.I. final in reaching the program’s first top-10 ranking.
The 2014 NAIA national championships begin Nov. 22 with final site action taking place Dec. 1-6 in Delray Beach, Fla. Last year, the Grizzlies qualified for their first national tournament in the team’s very first year of postseason eligibility.