No. 1 West Florida faces early tests
Clash on the Coast features four top-ranked teams
Clash on the Coast Tournament:
No. 1 West Florida, No. 2 Grand Valley State, No. 5 Armstrong Atlantic
The Clash on the Coast, hosted by Armstrong Atlantic State University and featuring four of the top 13-ranked programs in the country will be a unique event to kick off the 2013 women's soccer season.
The No. 5-ranked and host Pirates (19-2-2 in 2012) will welcome in defending national champion and preseason No. 1-ranked West Florida (24-1), 2010 NCAA DII National Champion and preseason No. 2-ranked Grand Valley State (20-2-3) as well as preseason No. 13-ranked Columbus State (18-3-2) for tournament action on Friday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Armstrong Soccer Field.
The tournament begins at 1 p.m. ET on Friday with fifth-ranked Armstrong facing second-ranked Grand Valley State, and continues with a 3:30 p.m. match between top-ranked West Florida and No. 13-ranked Columbus State. The weekend concludes on Sunday with an 11:00 a.m. matchup between Grand Valley State and Columbus State, then a 1:30 p.m. showdown between Armstrong and West Florida.
No. 3 UC San Diego
UC San Deigo begins the season by welcoming a pair of nationally-ranked West Region foes who each had their 2012 postseason runs cut short by the Tritons. UCSD takes on No. 21 Seattle Pacific on Thursday and No. 12 Western Washington on Saturday. Kickoff for both contests is slated for 7 p.m. ET.
Having lost 10 seniors to graduation from last season's CCAA and West Region champion and national runner-up squad, with seven of them starters, UCSD has 16 newcomers on the 2013 roster, including a remarkable total of 14 true freshmen. All but one of the 28 players are California natives.
No. 4 Saint Rose
The Golden Knights, who have gone 130-11-8 (.909) throughout the past six seasons, are scheduled to open their 2013 campaign with a non-conference date against visiting Nyack this Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET. Saint Rose will then take on Felician on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Roberts Wesleyan on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
Saint Rose has won at least share of the NE-10 regular-season title in each of the past seven seasons. Ten starters are back from that squad, among them a pair of two-time All-Americans in senior forward Carmelina Puopolo and senior midfielder Sydney Bond.
No. 6 Minnesota State-Mankato
Coming off the best season in school history, the Minnesota State women's soccer program begins the Brian Bahl-era and the 2013 campaign this weekend when the sixth-ranked Mavericks host Truman State Friday at 4 p.m. ET, and 11th-ranked Central Missouri Sunday at 12 p.m.
Friday's contest will mark the first official match for first-year head coach Brian Bahl, the fourth coach in Maverick soccer history. Minnesota State returns five starters from last year's team that was crowned NSIC regular-season champions and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals, including second team All-Region pick senior Tori Meinhardt and first team All-Region selection junior Molly McGough.
No. 7 West Chester
The Rams' first regular-season contest is slated for Thursday, Sept. 5 at home against rival Mansfield at 1 p.m. ET.
West Chester is coming off a 15-5-1 campaign in which it won the Atlantic Region title and advanced all the way to the final eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament. West Chester and Slippery Rock, which came in at No. 17, were the only Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) schools represented in the Top 25 preseason poll.
No. 8 Tampa
The Spartans open the 2013 season on Sept. 5 against Warner University at 7 p.m. ET at Pepin Stadium. The opening weekend will also feature games on Sept. 7 vs. Georgia Southwestern and Sept. 8 vs. Florida Memorial.
Tampa, who finished 2012 in the South Regional Championship match, returns 10 of 11 starters, including 16 letterwinners. The Spartans return SSC Women's Soccer Player of the Year, Lauren Moore, and SSC Freshman of the Year, Cici Gonzalez. The two All-Americans finished last season as the top two leading scorers in conference play.
No. 9 Colorado Mines
Colorado Mines opens the season Sept. 5 in Canyon, Texas against No. 14 Dallas Baptist. Mines eliminated the then-No. 4 Patriots, the Heartland Conference regular season and tournament champion, 3-0 in the second round of the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Mines returns seven starters, including three All-RMAC selections and two All-Americans from last year's unit that finished 18-4-2 (10-3-1 RMAC) and No. 7 in the final NSCAA Division II National Poll.
No. 10 Metro State
The Roadrunners open the season on Thursday at West Texas A&M at 8 p.m. ET. They will then face Dallas Baptist on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Roadrunners return eight starters and 17 letterwinners from last year's squad that went 15-6-2 (9-3-2 RMAC) and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Five of the top six scorers also return, including junior Karisa Price (Gilbert, Ariz./Highland H.S.), who led the team with 16 goals and was named All-America last year.