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Strengthened schedule set for Lady Bison Soccer

Thursday, July 11, 2013
by Ryan Hilgemann

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Coach Kevin O’Brien, in his second year at the helm of the Lipscomb women’s soccer team, expects to put an improved product on the field for the 2013 season. With the improved squad, O’Brien has upped the quality competition the Lady Bisons will face.

“I think it’s very important to challenge the girls to the best of our ability in our non-conference scheduling, in order to develop and prepare the team to do something special in conference,” O’Brien said. “Only meaningful games can prepare us in the way we need to achieve the success we are striving after.”

The Lady Bisons have nine teams scheduled that achieved 10 or more wins in the 2012 season. Five of those teams are in the non-conference slate with the other four coming in Atlantic Sun Conference play.

The season gets underway on Friday, Aug. 23 as the Lady Bisons travel to Western Carolina followed by a game at Alabama A&M on Aug. 26. The three-game road trip to start the season concludes with a short trek to Murfreesboro to face the 2012 Sun Belt Conference champions Middle Tennessee State on Aug. 30.

The home opener, which kicks off a five-game homestand, begins with UT-Martin on Sept. 2. The Skyhawks were the Ohio Valley Conference champions and NCAA National Tournament participants in 2012.

“We are always going to play against the best teams in the country that are willing to play us,” O’Brien said. “Our strength of schedule is better in 2013 than last season and we are dialing up an even more challenging 2014 schedule.

“Strengthening our women’s soccer schedule is a trend that our recruits and fans should get used to and excited about over the next several years.”

Alabama State travels to the Lipscomb Soccer Complex on Sept. 6 followed by a Labor Day affair against Austin Peay on Sept. 9. The Bears of Central Arkansas visit the “Music City” on Sept. 13.

The homestand concludes with the “Battle of the Boulevard” on Sept. 16 against Belmont. This will be the first regular season meeting between the two schools since 2011.

After the ‘battle’ the Lady Bisons play their next three games on the road starting with Western Kentucky on Sept. 22.

The A-Sun season begins with a trip to the “Peach State” at Kennesaw State on Sept. 27 and Mercer on Sept. 29.

The conference home opener has the Hatters of Stetson visiting on Oct. 4. Florida Gulf Coast, the defending A-Sun champion and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant, steps onto the Lipscomb turf on Oct. 6.

Lipscomb travels to the “Sunshine State” for an Oct. 11 match at Jacksonville followed by an Oct. 13 game against North Florida.

The final road game of the season sends the Lady Bisons to the “Bluegrass State” for a matchup against Northern Kentucky on Oct. 19.

The regular season comes to a close in Nashville as the Lady Bisons host ETSU on Oct. 25 and USC Upstate on Oct. 27.