GREENWOOD – Lander head coach Lee Squires announced the 2018 men's soccer schedule on Friday.
The 16-match regular-season schedule features seven matches inside Van Taylor Stadium, as well as three contests against NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago.
"As ever at this time of year, the excitement is building week by week for preseason," said Squires. "We have a challenging schedule but a lot of experienced players returning who will help guide the new players. It's important to get off to a good start with our early home games before several challenging non-conference games and an always tough PBC schedule. Each game in our region is a tough one, but we will work hard to try and be playing our best soccer come November."
Lander kicks off the 2018 campaign against Alabama-Huntsville on Aug. 31 at Van Taylor Stadium.
The Bearcats' home Peach Belt Conference slate includes Young Harris (Oct. 6), North Georgia (Oct. 13) and Flagler (Oct. 27). PBC road trips will take the Bearcats to Francis Marion (Sept. 22), USC Aiken (Sept. 29), Georgia Southwestern (Oct. 20) and Clayton State (Oct. 24). Lander fell to Young Harris in the NCAA Tournament last year and topped North Georgia to win the program's fifth PBC Tournament title.
Lander's other home non-conference matches include Anderson (Sept. 5), Tusculum (Sept. 8) and West Alabama (Oct. 1) The Bearcats travel to rival Erskine (Sept. 12), Limestone (Sept. 15), Queens (Sept. 26), Carson-Newman (Oct. 10) and Chowan (Oct. 17). Both West Alabama and Limestone advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2017.
The Bearcats are coming off a 2017 season in which they finished with a 13-4-3 overall record, reaching the NCAA Southeast Regional championship after winning the PBC Tournament Championship and claiming the PBC regular-season title for the second consecutive year.