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Wilmington University To Host CACC Tournament as 2013 Men’s Soccer Schedule is Announced
A heavy front end non-conference schedule and six home matches in October highlight the 2013 Wilmington University men’s soccer schedule, announced today by head coach Nick Papanicolas.
Papanicolas, who is entering his 10th year at the helm of the Wildcats, will lead the team once again after going 12-8 overall, 6-5 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, and an appearance in the CACC Tournament Semifinals a year ago. The team turned it on late in 2012, nine of its final 10 regular season matches and came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit in the CACC Quarterfinal to defeat Bloomfield, 3-2, before falling to Post in the CACC Semifinals, 1-0.
This season begins much like the 2012 slate, as the team will take on tough nonconference opponents in Franklin Pierce, LIU Post, Bridgeport, and Millersville before getting into the bulk of the CACC schedule. Franklin Pierce, LIU Post, and CACC member Post each earned a spot in the 2012 NCAA Tournament Field.
In October, the Wildcats will also host games against West Chester and the University of the District of Columbia to round out their six nonconference matches.
“We have to play our tough nonconference games earlier in the season because of our location,” Papanicolas said of squaring off against Franklin Pierce, Bridgeport, and LIU Post (who spent some time as the number one team in the country last season) early in the season. “If we wait until the middle of the season, we are both already into our conference schedules, so that is how we have to do it again this year.
“I like playing those teams because we do not have an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament,” Papanicolas continued. “We have to play the real tough nonconference teams to build up an even better strength of schedule. Three or four in-region losses is the mark year-in and year-out.”
The CACC welcomes a new team to the conference as Georgian Court begins its first season as a program, creating an equal 12 team schedule for 2013. The Wildcats begin the CACC season with a home match against Felician on September 10. Three road matches fill out September before returning home to face Caldwell on Homecoming on Saturday, September 28.
October looks to be tricky for the Wildcats this year as all the top teams from 2012 are jammed into the single month. The Wildcats continue their string of five straight home games with West Chester, Post, Philadelphia, and UDC to begin the month before finally hitting the road to Bloomfield on October 12.
Back-to-back home games against Goldey-Beacom and Dominican round out Wilmington’s home slate in the regular season before heading to Nyack and its first matchup against Georgian Court on October 30.
“It’s really nice to see the CACC growing as a conference with the addition of Georgian Court this year, the head coach said. “They are going to be young to start, but if they are like any other team in this conference they are going to tough.
“I think playing the top teams from last year later in the season this year will help us because by that time our team chemistry will be at its peak,” Papanicolas said of the CACC resume. “We went on our run late last year, and our tough October conference schedule balances our tough nonconference start to the season.”
The Wildcats hope to have another shot at a home match at the end of the season, as the CACC Tournament Semifinal and Championship rounds will be held at the WU Athletics Complex on November 7 and November 9. The CACC Tournament Quarterfinals begin with a match at the higher seed on November 4.
2013 Men’s Soccer Schedule
5 - at Franklin Pierce; 10 – Felician; 12 – vs. LIU Post (at Bridgeport); 14 - at Bridgeport; 17 – Millersville; 19 - at Holy Family; 21 – at Concordia; 24 – at Chestnut Hill; 28 – Caldwell (Homecoming)
2 – West Chester; 5 – Post (Breast Cancer Awareness); 8 – Philadelphia; 10 – District of Columbia; 12 – at Bloomfield; 16 – Goldey-Beacom; 19 – Dominican (Senior Day); 26 – at Nyack; 30 – at Georgian Court