2012 VWC women's soccer slate includes five NCAA tournament teams
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Women's soccer competition will begin at home in 2012 for the Virginia Wesleyan College Marlins, as they host their annual Ortopaedic Associates of Virginia Classic on Saturday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 2.
2011 NCAA Division III tournament qualifier Eastern University and Rutgers University-Newark will compete in the event. VWC takes on Rutgers on Saturdayat 1 p.m. and faces Eastern on Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern won its third Freedom Conference title in four years in 2011 and is a four-time NCAA qualifier.
The Eagles are one of five 2011 NCAA tournament teams set to challenge Virginia Wesleyan, an eight-time NCAA tourney team, this season. Two-time defending Old Dominion Athletic Conference champion Lynchburg College, which edged VWC 1-0 for the conference title last year, visits Foster Field at the Trinder Center for a 7 p.m. start on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the conference opener for both teams. Lynchburg finished 19-2-2 last year, while VWC was 18-4.
Two weeks later, Shenandoah University visits VWC for the teams' first meeting as ODAC members. Shenandoah, 15-7-1 last year, won the USA South Athletic Conference championship in 2011 and qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time. The Hornets will face the Marlns at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
The following week, the Sea Gulls of Salisbury University invade Virginia Beach to battled VWC on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. Salisbury is the defending champion of the Capital Athletic Conference and finished last season with a 13-6-2 record. Virginia Wesleyan will also take on the CAC runner-up in St. Mary's College of Maryland in the regular season final on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Maryland at 4 p.m.
Roanoke College's Maroons round out the group of 2011 NCAA tournament qualifiers. The Maroons were 14-5-2 in 2011 and split a pair of games with VWC. Roanoke won the regular season meeting 1-0 in overtime and VWC took the ODAC tournament rematch 2-0. Roanoke will visit the VWC campus for a 7 p.m. start on Saturday, Oct. 20.
In addition to the line-up of strong ODAC teams on the 2012 VWC schedule, the slate includes a first-time opponent in the College of Mt. St. Joseph from Cincinnati and a second-time meeting with Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. The Marlins will take on both of those teams in a pair of 1 p.m. starts in the Christopher Newport University Classic set for Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday, Sept. 9. Stockton, a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference, is an eight-time NCAA qualifier and finished 15-7-4 last year. Mt. St. Joseph, a member of the Heartland Conference, finished 5-12-1.
Virginia Wesleyan and Christopher Newport will compete in each other's tournaments in 2012, but will face each other in non-tourney competition, at CNU, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5.