COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State women's soccer head coach Jay Entlich announced the team's 2011 schedule that features three NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago. In addition, every non-conference opponent on the slate finished at .500 or above except for West Alabama, who will be in their year of competition.
"I am excited about new the opponents that we are playing this year," said Coach Entlich. "It is refreshing for the program and our players to play schools we haven't faced before."
The season gets underway at the Pioneer Invitational hosted by Tusculum College on Friday, September 2 when they Lady Cougars take on Southern Indiana for the first time in school history. USI went 12-6-1 in 2010 and returns their two leading scorers in Meagan Kempf and Julia Kohnen. In the second game of the weekend CSU will face off against Tusculum who went 9-9-1 a year ago despite several key injuries. The Pioneers return Tramicka James, the South Atlantic Conference leader in goals (17) and points (38).
Columbus State then returns to the friendly confines of the John Walden Soccer Complex for the first time in 2011 to open up Peach Belt Conference play versus UNC Pembroke as part of the Cougar Invitational on Friday, September 9. The Braves had a banner year in 2010 going 16-4-2 and capped it off with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Barry, the second foe for the Lady Cougars in the Invitational, returns the trip after the two sides pitted in one of the most entertaining games of the year in 2010, a 4-3 overtime victory for CSU.
The Lady Cougars will have their first mid-week match on September 14 when it travels to West Alabama. They stay on the road trekking to St. Augustine, Florida over the weekend for a pair of contests, first with Nova Southeastern (September 16) and then wrapping up the road swing versus Flagler on September 18.
CSU will then play host to a double-header on September 21 when the Lincoln Memorial and Georgia Southwestern men's teams take the pitch at 4:00 p.m. before the Lady Cougars take on Lincoln Memorial in the nightcap at 7:00 p.m. CSU hits the road again to take on Lander in a PBC tilt on September 24.
After nearly a week off, Columbus State will host its second tournament of the fall, this one the Hughston Clinic Shootout. The headliner of the weekend will be Friday night's (September 30) finale as CSU will take on Armstrong Atlantic State University at 7:30. The two schools tied last year for the Peach Belt Conference regular season title and have combined to win the last five PBC Tournament championships. The Lady Cougars will wrap up the tournament with Lenoir Rhyne, who ousted CSU from the NCAA Tournament a year ago and reached the Elite 8.
Four of the next five games will be on the road as CSU will travel to Georgia Southwestern (October 5) and Georgia College (October 8) before returning home to face off against North Georgia on October 12. Columbus State wraps up its road portion of the regular season at West Georgia (October 14) and at Clayton State (October 19). The Lady Cougars will then conclude the season with two home matches on October 22 and October 25 versus USC Aiken and Montevallo, respectively.