Wake Forest and Old Dominion highlight 2018 men’s soccer schedule

Georgia Southern will host the 2018 men’s soccer Sun Belt Championship beginning on Thursday, November 8. 

McClain Baxley

The 2018 Georgia Southern men’s soccer schedule was released Monday and the Eagles will look to carry over the momentum from their 9-8-1, semifinal losing season from last season.

Non-conference tests

GS has quite the slate of non-conference tests with several top teams from last season. Wake Forest from the ACC lost to national champion Stanford in the national quarterfinals last season after a 19-2-2. The Demon Deacons were beaten by Coastal Carolina early last season, however.

A lesser known team is Old Dominion from the Conference USA who beat NC State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to national runner-ups Indiana. The Monarchs finished the season 12-5-2 and won the Conference USA championship. While these two teams will give the Eagles problems, they will be good early season tests.

“For the overall growth and development our program, I think the schedule is an indicator of where your program is,” head coach John Murphy told gseagles. “We’re playing such a competitive schedule in 2018, that it correlates with everything we’re trying to do with our program.”

Seven home games

The Eagles have seven home games including home battles against Sun Belt foes Georgia State and Appalachian State. Since the Eagles started playing in the Sun Belt in 2014, they haven’t won in Statesboro in the two times Southern and State have met.

This could be the year though with GS returning all but three players from last season. The Eagles will also have several home midweek games featuring a Wednesday night game against Winthrop and a Tuesday night game against Florida Atlantic.

“We’re certainly not where we want to be,” Murphy said. “But we’re moving in the right direction.”

Hosting the Sun Belt Championship

The Sun Belt Championship returns to Statesboro for the first time since 2014. In 2014, the Eagles lost to Hartwick in the championship game, but haven’t been back since. Good news for GS is that last year’s host team, Coastal Carolina, won the championship game after a successful season.

Though Coastal Carolina and Georgia State will pose threats as always, having the four day tournament on their home field should be a big advantage for an Eagle team that went 5-3 in home games last season.

“With this kind of schedule, we can’t be looking ahead, we will have to focus one game at a time,” Murphy said. “But we are excited for the challenge ahead.”

Full schedule

August 24 @ VCU

August 26 @ Old Dominion

August 31 vs North Florida

Sept. 7 vs FGCU

Sept. 11 @ Wake Forest

Sept. 15 @ Jacksonville

Sept. 22 vs ETSU

Sept. 26 vs Winthrop

Sept. 29 @ Mercer

October 2 vs FAU

October 6 @ Howard

October 9 @ Louisville

October 16 @ UAB

October 20 vs Georgia State

October 27 vs Appalachian State

November 2 @ Coastal Carolina

 

McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Sports Editor, [email protected]