Columbus State soccer will open season against defending national champion

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comJune 20, 2013 

The Columbus State soccer team will play six teams that made the 2012 NCAA Division II tournament -- two of which made the final four, including national champion West Florida.

The Lady Cougars open the season against West Florida on Sept. 6 in the Armstrong Invitational in Savannah, Ga.

That is the start of a most difficult opening stretch. CSU's first six opponents had a combined 108-15-11 record last season.

"This has to be the toughest schedule in the history of the program," said CSU coach Jay Entlich. "Getting to open the season with the defending national champion and a perennial top-five team in the nation is an honor and a very tough task."

CSU and West Florida will be playing for the first time since West Florida won a NCAA Division II quarterfinal in 2008.

In the second game in Savannah on Sept. 8, CSU plays Grand Valley State, which has been in the final four four straight years. GVS won the national title in 2009 and '10.

CSU's next five games will all be at home at the Walden Soccer Complex.

CSU hosts the CSU Collegiate Invitational on Sept. 13 and 15. CSU faces Tusculum, which went 12-3-3 last season, in the opener. Two days later, CSU plays North Alabama, which has made the NCAA tournament four straight years.

CSU opens Peach Belt Conference play on Sept. 20 by hosting Armstrong Atlantic, which has won two straight conference titles. The PIrates eliminated CSU from the NCAA tournament last season.

CSU went 18-3-2 in 2012 and made its seventh straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

Sept. 6 vs. West Florida (at Savannah) 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 8 vs. Grand Valley State (at Savannah) 11 a.m.

Sept. 13 Tusculum 7 p.m.

Sept. 15 North Alabama 3 p.m.

Sept. 20 Armstrong Atlantic 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 22 Lee 1 p.m.

Sept. 28 USC Aiken 3 p.m.

Oct. 1 at Anderson 4 p.m.

Oct. 3 at Georgia College 6 p.m.

Oct. 5 Young Harris 1 p.m.

Oct. 14 at Flagler 2 p.m.

Oct. 18 Valdosta State 4 p.m.

Oct. 20 at Clayton State 1 p.m.

Oct. 23 North Georgia 6 p.m.

Oct. 26 at Lander 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 30 Montevallo 6 p.m.

Nov. 2 UNC Pembroke 1 p.m.

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