NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three tournaments and a road game against UAB highlight the 2012 Lipscomb men’s soccer schedule, released by head coach Charles Morrow Thursday.
The preseason schedule kicks off with a home match against the University of Alabama-Huntsville at 7 p.m. Aug. 16. Lipscomb also travels to Louisville for an Aug. 20 match-up at 7 p.m. against a Cardinals squad that advanced to the quarterfinals of the College Cup in 2011.
“Louisville will be a huge test for us,” Morrow said. “It will be good for our guys to see a talented team that early in the preseason.”
The Bisons open the regular season on the road Aug. 24 against Evansville before the home opener Aug. 26 against EIU at 6 p.m.
The Bisons will be in tournament mode in late August and early September, traveling to Conway, Ark. for the UCA Classic Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Lipscomb will face the host Bears Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. and have a noon tilt scheduled against Missouri State Sept. 2.
Lipscomb hosts the Hyatt Place Select Lipscomb Invitational Sept. 7-9. This year’s participants will be Belmont, Oral Roberts and Elon, with Lipscomb taking on Elon at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7 and Oral Roberts at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 9.
The Bisons will also participate in the Belmont Tournament Sept. 14-16 at E.S. Rose Park. Lipscomb opens the tournament against Missouri Valley foe Bradley at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 14 and faces Central Connecticut State Sept. 16 at 12:05 p.m.
Lipscomb travels to Birmingham, Ala. Sept. 22 for a 7 p.m. kick-off against UAB, the 2011 Conference USA runners-up. The Bisons earned a draw against the Blazers in exhibition play last season.
“UAB and Bradley are big names in the soccer world,” Morrow said. “We scheduled pretty similar to what we do every year. We want our guys to be pushed, so we try to play a wide variety of teams with different styles.”
The annual “Battle of the Boulevard” match against Belmont will take place Thursday, Sept. 27 at Rose Park at 5 p.m.
Lipscomb opens the conference schedule at Mercer, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. Following that match, the Bisons have four straight home conference matches against Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 6, 7 p.m.), ETSU (Oct. 13, 7 p.m.), Stetson (Oct. 19, 7 p.m.) and USC Upstate (Oct. 21, 4 p.m.)
The Bisons close out conference play with three road matches in a row at Jacksonville (Oct. 26, 7 p.m.), North Florida (Oct. 28, 1 p.m.) and A-Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky (Nov. 3, 1 p.m.).
“Those are three important games down the stretch,” Morrow said. “We’ve got to do our job at home and get what we can on the road. It’s going to be down to the wire next year in the conference.”
The conference tournament will be Nov. 7-11 at a yet-to-be-determined location.
“We’re looking forward to the season,” Morrow said. “It’s important for us to establish the things we want to establish with this new group coming in so we can be playing our best soccer at the end of the season.”