June 11, 2014
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina Head Women's Soccer Coach Chad Millerannounced the 2014 soccer schedule Wednesday. The competitive slate of games includes 10 home contests hosting non-conference teams such as Conference USA members East Carolina and Middle Tennessee as well as new Southern Conference members VMI and ETSU.
"It will be another challenging and exciting year for the Catamounts this fall," Miller said. "Out of conference we will be facings teams from the ACC, Atlantic Sun, Big South, Conference USA, and the Ohio Valley Conferences. Our out of conference schedule will certainly test us and get us ready for conference play both at home and on the road."
It was also recently announced Western Carolina University will host the 2014 Southern Conference Women's Soccer Championships, at the Catamount Athletic Complex, Nov. 7 and Nov. 9. This will be the third time the Catamounts have hosted the SoCon Women's Soccer Championships with previous years including 2006 and 2010.
"Our program is very excited to have been selected to host the 2014 SoCon Women's Soccer Championships," Miller admitted. "This will be our third time hosting the championships, and I have been here for all of three of them both as an assistant and as the head coach. I believe we have a fantastic playing surface here at the Catamount Athletic Complex with beautiful views and amazing fans who create a great atmosphere to play in."
The Catamounts will host two exhibition matches before Western Carolina hosts Eastern Kentucky, Aug. 22, to kick-off the season. Just days after reporting for fall camp, WCU will host Winthrop and UNC Asheville in exhibition matches Aug. 13 and 15 respectively.
Two days after opening the 2014, against EKU, the Catamounts will welcome East Carolina Aug. 24. After the home match-up with the Pirates, Western Carolina hit the road for six straight road matches before returning home to face Middle Tennessee on Sept. 19.
During the six-game road swing, the Catamounts travel to Longwood, High Point, Lipscomb, Tennessee Tech, North Carolina State and Campbell. The match with the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee is the final non-conference game of the season before opening Southern Conference play hosting Wofford Sept. 26. The Catamounts will also host 2013 SoCon Women's Soccer Champions Furman as well as UNCG and new SoCon members VMI and ETSU.
"The SoCon this year, I believe, will be as competitive as ever with the addition of new members ETSU, Mercer, and VMI," Miller said. "To be successful in our league you must bring your best in every game home or away. There are some great coaches in this conference and programs we have a lot of respect for. So we will need to be at the top of our game to find success in 2014."
As agreed upon last year, all Southern Conference teams that are eligible for NCAA postseason play will be included in each SoCon championship. Under the previous format, teams needed to qualify to compete in postseason tournaments in volleyball, women's soccer and baseball (prior to 2014).
For women's soccer, this means all member schools that field a program will be eligible for post-season play in 2014. All told, there will be 10 schools participating in the championship including new SoCon members ETSU, Mercer and VMI. First round matches are tentatively scheduled for October 29 will pit the No. 7 seed versus the No. 10 seed and the No. 8 seed vs. the No. 9 seed. The winner of these two rounds will advance to the quarterfinal round hosted by the higher seeded teams. The winner of those two games will move to the quarterfinal round on Nov. 2.