Camels announce 2013 women's soccer slate

Melissa Messier
(Will Bratton photo)
Melissa Messier (Will Bratton photo)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Two tournaments and seven home matches are highlights on the 2013 Campbell women's soccer schedule. The slate also features five teams the Camels will face for the first time in program history.

"We are excited for the coming season," said eighth-year head coach Todd Clark. "We feel we have put together a schedule that will provide us with the opportunity to follow on with the success we have been building in the program over the past four seasons and we are looking forward to 2013."

After a 10-8-1 season in 2012, the Camels will face two 2012 NCAA Women's College Cup participants in an exhibition match with Wake Forest and a Big South rematch with Radford. Of the 19 games on the schedule, 11 will be against Big South Conference opponents. 

"The schedule is a good combination of regional matches and some opportunities to get our players back in front of hometown crowds along with the ever-present conference slate," Clark continued. "The Big South remains one of the more competitive conferences in the nation in terms of parity, so there is no telling how things will go, but obviously our goal is to compete weekly with an end goal of returning to the finals and eventually a berth in the NCAA tournament."

The Camels will prepare for the regular season with two exhibition matches, the first against UNC-Wilmington Aug. 12 on the road at 6:00 p.m. Campbell then travels for another preseason match against Wake Forest on Aug. 16 in Winston-Salem at 7:00 p.m. The Deacons finished 2012 ranked No. 15 in the nation after making it to the second round of the College Cup. 

CU opens regular season play with three-straight away games. Travelling to Huntington, W.Va. on Aug. 23 at 7:30 p.m., Campbell will see Marshall for the second year in a row. Last season, the Camels defeated the Herd 4-2 with Ashley Clark notching two goals in the contest.

The Camels will participate in their first tournament of the season Aug. 30-Sept.1 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. CU will face Prairie View A&M on Friday at 3:30 p.m. (CDT) before taking on Texas Southern Sunday at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). It will be the first meeting with each team in Campbell's history. 

On Sept. 5, Campbell will host its home opener against Mount Olive College at 7:00 p.m. at Eakes Athletic Complex. The contest will be the first-ever between the two teams.

CU will continue its two-game home stand Sept. 7 at 3:00 p.m. as it hosts Francis Marion for the third year in a row. In 2012, the sides tied 1-1 after a double overtime contest in the Creek. Clark notched a goal in the 85th minute to force the game into extra minutes. 

In their second tournament of the year, the Camels will participate in the VCU Tournament in Richmond, Va., meeting two opponents for the first time in program history.  Campbell will face the Rams Sept. 13 at 5:00 p.m. followed by a contest with the University of Richmond Sept. 15 at 2:30 p.m. The tournament will serve as a final tune-up before Big South Conference play.

The Camels will open up league play on the road at Liberty Sept. 28 at 1:00 p.m. Last season, Liberty defeated CU 2-1 in Buies Creek in an overtime game. 

Campbell returns home for three straight games beginning with a 7:00 p.m. match with Radford Oct. 2.  Radford blanked Campbell twice in 2012, including a 1-0 win in the Big South tournament quarterfinal. The Camels look to bounce back and defeat the reigning BSC tournament champions, who were the conference representative in the 2012 College Cup.

On Family Weekend, the Camels host Gardner-Webb Sat., Oct. 5 at 4:00 p.m. In their 2012 meeting, CU took the 3-1 win with goals from Clark, Ashley Hartert, and Melissa Messier. 

The Camels will host a midweek tilt with Charleston Southern Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m. In Charleston last year, the Camels took the 1-0 win off a Kirsty Meyer goal in the 75th minute. The win gave the Camels a 6-1-1 advantage in the all-time series with the Buccaneers.

On Oct. 12, CU travels to Presbyterian College for the fifth all-time match against the Blue Hose at 7:00 p.m.  In 2012, Campbell earned a 2-1 decision on goals from Meyer and Messier. 

Returning home for a match on Oct. 16, the Camels will play Coastal Carolina at Eakes Athletic Complex at 7:00 p.m.  Last season in Conway, the Camels fell 2-0, but CU continues to hold the all-time series advantage 4-3-1.

The Camels will travel for their next two games to avenge a pair of 1-0 losses in 2012.  CU goes to Winthrop on Oct. 19 at 1:00 p.m. after falling in overtime in Buies Creek last season. Campbell continues its road trip as it visits Longwood on Oct. 23 for a 7:00 p.m. game, after taking a loss to the Lancers in Longwood's first year as a Big South member. 

The final home game for the Camels is Oct. 26 on Homecoming, hosting VMI in a 7:00 p.m. tilt. In the first Big South game of the 2012 season, Clark netted two goals to give Campbell the 2-0 win over the Keydets. 

In its regular season finale, Campbell travels to High Point Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m. The Panthers defeated the Camels 2-0 in Buies Creek last season in the final game of the regular season. 

The top eight teams in Big South standings after the regular season is complete will move on to the conference tournament.  The first round will be hosted by the top four seeds on Nov. 1 and 3. Coastal Carolina will host the final four teams in Conway, S.C. for the semifinal matches Nov. 8 and the championship Nov. 10.

The Camels return 19 from 2012's roster, including seven regular starters. Ashley Clark returns for her junior season after having a first-team all-conference campaign as a sophomore, and goalkeeper Alexis Connors hits the pitch after being named to the Big South all-freshman team. Campbell will also welcome ten newcomers to the Creek in the fall.