GREENWOOD - The Lander women's soccer team gears up for the 21st season in program history as head coach Chris Ayer announced the squad's 2018 schedule Monday.
The 16-match campaign features three opponents that participated in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, including conference foe Columbus State, who advanced to the Southeast Regional championship. The Bearcats will play eight of their contests within the friendly confines of Van Taylor Stadium and the other eight on the road.
Headlined by the Cougars, Lander's three opponents who made appearances in the 2017 NCAA Tournament also include PBC rivals Flagler and UNC Pembroke.
"You're always going to have a tough schedule in the Peach Belt Conference," said Ayer. "We've got a great group this season and we're looking forward to getting to work and facing the challenges."
The 2018 regular season officially kicks off Aug. 30 in Tigerville as Lander takes on North Greenville. Ayer's squad will then play its first home match of the year, battling Mars Hill Saturday, Sept. 1. The home stand continues on Wednesday, Sept. 5 against Newberry.
Lander then travels to Wingate (Saturday, Sept. 8) and rival Erskine (Wednesday, Sept. 12) before heading into Peach Belt Conference play. The Bearcats open the PBC schedule with a home Saturday matchup against Georgia College (Sept. 15) and a Wednesday night clash with Francis Marion (Sept. 19) in Greenwood.
Lander heads to Columbus State (Saturday, Sept. 22) and Clayton State (Wednesday, Sept. 26) before returning home to end the month against Young Harris (Saturday, Sept. 29). The Bearcats begin the final month of the season on the road at North Georgia (Saturday, Oct. 6) and face UNC Pembroke (Wednesday, Oct. 10) in its first home match of October.
Lander will sandwich its final two home matches between a pair of road contests to wrap up the regular season, traveling to USC Aiken (Wednesday, Oct. 17) before hosting Flagler (Saturday, Oct. 20) and Coker (Wednesday, Oct. 24). The Bearcats close out the regular season at Georgia Southwestern on Saturday, Oct. 27.