KENNESAW, Ga. – The Kennesaw State soccer team and head coach Rob King have announced the 2015 schedule, which features matchups with a number of 2014 NCAA Tournament teams as well as 11 home games at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
“We are very excited about this year’s schedule,” said King. “We have 11 home games on the slate including our exhibition games, which is always great to play in front of our fans at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. This schedule combines great local competition and rivalries, plus match ups against several NCAA tournament opponents. Out of the gate our first home exhibition is against SEC power Auburn. They provide an immediate look for our new players at the speed and physical nature of elite level NCAA DI soccer. We follow that with an instate matchup against perennial D2 national power Columbus State.”
KSU will be looking to get back to the top of the Atlantic Sun Conference after a strong finish to the 2014 campaign propelled the Owls to the A-Sun Conference Championship final, starting with pair of preseason exhibition matches at home against Southeastern Conference foe and 2014 NCAA Tournament participant Auburn on Aug. 13 for First Responders Night. The Owls then take on Columbus State on Aug. 16 in conjunction with the first-ever Kennesaw State Fall Festival.
The Owls will be staying close to home to start the season as the 2015 slate officially kicks off with their home opener against Alabama A&M on Aug. 21, followed by a short trip to Atlanta, Ga., to face off against regional rival Georgia State on Aug. 24.
Back-to-back home contests against Chattanooga on Aug. 28 and Clayton State on Aug. 30 round out the first month of the season, before the Owls head on the road for the first three weeks of September.
The Owls will spend four games of their five-game road swing in the state of South Carolina starting with a trip to Charleston for the Charleston Cup, taking on College of Charleston on Sept. 4 and The Citadel on Sept. 6. KSU then heads to Greenville for a Sept. 11 match against Furman, before a clash with SEC opponent South Carolina in Columbia on Sept. 14, a highlight of the nonconference slate as the Gamecocks advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Florida State a season ago.
KSU wraps up its road trip in Clarksville, Tenn., against Austin Peay on Sept. 18, before returning home to battle regional rival Samford on the KSU Marietta campus on Sept. 20.
“Our non-conference schedule includes our rivalry game with Georgia State, plus great competition from schools in our surrounding states of Alabama, Tennessee and the Carolinas. Our road game versus South Carolina will provide the opportunity to take on a nationally ranked program that went deep into the NCAA tournament last season.”
A-Sun Conference action begins at home for the Owls on Sept. 26 with Youth Night and Camper Reunion Night against Lipscomb, before taking on the newest member of the A-Sun, NJIT, in the two teams’ first-ever meeting on International Night on Oct. 3 with free soccer scarves being handed out for the first 300 fans at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
KSU then heads down to south Florida for matches against Stetson on Oct. 9 in Deland, followed by a date with reigning A-Sun Champion Florida Gulf Coast on Oct. 11 in Fort Myers.
North Florida and Jacksonville will make the trip to Kennesaw the following weekend as the Owls host the Ospreys on Oct. 16, before taking on the Dolphins on Oct. 18 for the Pink Game, with fans encouraged to wear pink to show their support for breast cancer awareness.
Conference play wraps up for the Owls at USC Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C., on Oct. 25, before KSU concludes its 2015 regular season with senior night against Emory on Oct. 27 as the Owls honor lone senior Hannah Churchill in her last regular season match at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
“We begin our conference schedule with two home games, including a rematch with Lipscomb of the 2014 A-Sun tournament semifinal, followed by welcoming NJIT to our stadium for the first time. We then go on the road for two crucial games against Stetson, followed by a rematch of last year’s tournament final against FGCU. Our final home conference games are against UNF and JU. We performed against JU very well last season, but feel we have a little to prove against UNF. Our final games include USC Upstate on the road, before we close out the season with Emory and Senior Night.”
The 2015 edition of the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship opens with quarterfinal matches on Oct. 31 at home sites, followed by the semifinals and final on Nov. 6 and 8 on the campus of the regular season champion.
The Owls return 13 letterwinnners, including six starters, from a team that finished as 2014 A-Sun Championship runners-up and wrapped the season with an 8-11-1 record. Along those returning are A-Sun First-Team honoree Brittney Reed as well as second-teamer Maggie Gaughan and A-Sun All-Freshmen team member Abby Roth. KSU will also welcome in nine talented newcomers to an already motivated veteran squad for the 2015 campaign.