Gamecock Men's Soccer Announces 2012 Schedule
July 31, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - University of South Carolina head men's soccer coach Mark Berson released on Tuesday the schedule for the upcoming 2012 season, which marks the 35th season of varsity soccer at South Carolina. The reigning Conference USA regular-season champs will host 12 home dates this fall, including two exhibition contests and the annual Gamecock Classic. The schedule features exhibition and regular-season contests against seven teams ranked in the final 2011 NSCAA Top 25 Poll, and 11 teams that competed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including two teams that advanced to the quarterfinals of the event and Charlotte, which advanced to the national final.
"Each year we try to put together the strongest schedule possible, and this year is no exception," Berson said. "Eleven of the 20 teams on our schedule were in the NCAA Tournament last year, and we line up against representatives from the ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten and our opponents in Conference USA."
From the final NSCAA poll, South Carolina will host No. 18 St. John's (Aug. 31), a squad that captured the 2011 BIG EAST Tournament championship, at the annual Gamecock Classic, before hosting 2011 Big Ten regular-season champion No. 22 Northwestern (Sept. 2) just two days later in the same event. The following weekend, the Gamecocks will face No. 6 USF (Sept. 6), who earned a share of the 2011 BIG EAST regular-season crown, at the USF Tournament. South Carolina travels to No. 2 Charlotte (Sept. 12), before returning to Stone Stadium to host No. 19 SMU (Sept. 24) and No. 21 UAB (Oct. 10) in Conference USA action. The final team the Gamecocks will face from the poll is 16th-ranked Coastal Carolina (Oct. 24), which went undefeated in regular-season Big South contests last fall to win the league, in a home contest in Columbia. All seven of the teams South Carolina will face from the final poll advanced to the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
The Gamecocks kick off the season hosting Georgia State (Aug. 14) and Elon (Aug. 18) in exhibition contests at Stone Stadium before College of Charleston travels to Columbia on Aug. 24 for the official 2012 season opener. South Carolina hosts the Gamecock Classic Aug. 31-Sept. 2, which features C-USA opponent Kentucky, St. John's and Northwestern. After facing USF at the Bulls' home event, South Carolina concludes tournament action versus 2011 Atlantic Sun regular-season champ and NCAA Tournament participant Florida Gulf Coast (Sept. 8).
The Gamecocks travel to Charlotte in mid-September, before hosting Clemson (Sept. 18) just prior to the start of C-USA play. South Carolina travels to Tulsa (Sept. 21) and SMU (Sept. 24), before hosting three-consecutive league contests when FIU (Sept. 29), UCF (Oct. 7) and UAB (Oct. 10) visit Stone Stadium. Both UCF and UAB advanced to the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament.
The final portion of the regular season has South Carolina traveling to Marshall (Oct. 13), before hosting Wofford (Oct. 17) in non-conference action. Memphis visits Columbia on Oct. 20, before a Senior Night match versus Coastal Carolina on Oct. 24. South Carolina concludes the regular season at Kentucky (Nov. 4). The Conference USA Tournament is set for Nov. 7-11 in Birmingham, Ala., with UAB as the host. The top six teams, the top two receiving byes, will advance to the tournament.
South Carolina has won consecutive Conference USA titles, capturing the 2010 C-USA tournament championship before last year's share of the regular-season title. The Gamecocks advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament Round of 16 as the nation's No. 7 seed and earned a host spot in the 2011 event.
Season tickets for men's soccer, which includes admission to all home games, are currently on sale in the Gamecock Ticket Office. Fans can purchase tickets online at GamecocksOnline.com, or by calling 1-800-4SC-FANS. Cost for season tickets for men's soccer is $25 for adults and $10 for youth (17 and under).