New Facility, Four NCAA Tournament Teams Highlight the 2012 Wilmington Men’s Soccer Schedule
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - New Castle, DE
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Four teams that advanced to the 2011 NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Tournament a year ago, including a pair of national semifinalists, highlight the Wilmington University men’s soccer team’s 2012 schedule that was announced today.
Head coach Nick Papanicolas, returning for his ninth season at the helm of the Wildcats, will put his team to the test 18 times this fall as Wilmington will take on 2011 NCAA Division II Tournament qualifiers LIU Post (formerly C.W. Post), Franklin Pierce, Nyack and Millersville. Both Franklin Pierce and Millersville advanced to the national semifinal match before bowing out of the tournament.
In the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire NCAA Division II Men’s National Poll, Franklin Pierce finished third, followed directly by Millersville in fourth. LIU Post also finished among the best in the nation, closing its season in the second round of the tournament and ranked 12th overall.
The Wildcats return 10 letterwinners from a team that finished second in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season with a 7-2-2 conference record. Wilmington closed out its season with an 8-7-4 overall record after falling in the first round of the CACC Tournament to the eventual tournament champions from Nyack.
Wilmington, which has never missed the CACC Tournament since becoming NCAA Division II eligible prior to the 2004 season, will look to make it nine straight playoff appearances at the end of 2012. The Wildcats will have a tough road ahead, however, as they will host five CACC contests, but take to the road for six conference matches away from home.
The most exciting home game of the season may be the very first one, as Wilmington University will unveil a new facility this fall, featuring a synthetic turf field for soccer and lacrosse next to an indoor facility for basketball and volleyball. The men’s first game on the new field will feature Franklin Pierce on September 8. The Wildcats will also host nonconference opponents West Chester, 2007 National Champions Dowling, and Queens (N.Y.).
Inside the CACC schedule, the Wildcats will square off against Bloomfield on September 15 for its annual Homecoming game, Nyack, Concordia, Chestnut Hill and Holy Family.
Traveling on the road, Wilmington will start the season at the University of Bridgeport’s Purple Knight Classic against LIU Post and Bridgeport on August 30 and September 1, respectively. The Wildcats will also face Goldey-Beacom, Philadelphia, Post, Felician, Millersville, Dominican and Caldwell on the road this year.
The first round of the CACC Tournament will begin on October 30 with eight teams making the playoffs. The semifinals and championship will be hosted by Post, crowning a champion and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on November 3.
Click HERE to view the complete 2012 men's soccer schedule