College Sports

Eagles open with 4 straight on road

Winthrop men's soccer coach Rich Posipanko announced the schedule for the 2007 season, including 18 games, eight at home and two exhibitions.

The schedule for the defending Big South Conference champions starts with four straight games on the road as the Eagles (15-3-4) travel to Radford, Va., for the Radford Highlander Classic on Sept. 1-2, and Farmville, Va., for the Longwood Tournament Sept. 7-9. They will face USC Upstate and Binghamton in the Radford tournament and will square off against George Washington and host Longwood in the second tournament.

The home schedule begins with the Winthrop/Wingate Inn Classic on Sept. 14, with the Eagles taking on Georgia Southern. Radford and Gardner-Webb will also participate. The remaining home games include Appalachian State (Sept. 19), Brevard (Oct. 9), Radford (Oct. 21), UNC Asheville (Oct. 31), Coastal Carolina (Nov. 7) and Presbyterian (Nov. 10).

For the first time since 2002, Winthrop is hosting the BSC soccer championship on Nov. 15-18.

"I think we have put together the most challenging schedule available to us for the 2007 season," said Posipanko, who will be in his 19th season as coach. "Over the last two years it has certainly become exceedingly more difficult to schedule some of the teams we would like to play.

"In addition to this difficulty, we also lost a quality West Coast team when they canceled their East Coast games due to financial reasons last week. Obviously the Big South Conference games are the most important in determining our postseason play in the NCAA College Cup. The conference should be very competitive this season from top to bottom.''

The schedule includes two exhibitions. The first will take place in Rock Hill against Charlotte on Aug. 20. The Eagles will wrap up their preseason schedule at UNC Greensboro on Aug. 26.

Winthrop returns eight starters from its championship squad in 2006, six of which made first-team All-Big South, and two key reserves that combined for 15 starts.