Women’s Soccer 2012-13 Schedule Includes New Opponents
Head Women's Soccer Coach Bill Read has announced his team's schedule for the upcoming 2012-13 season — and as anyone who has followed the program will quickly notice, it now includes several Mississippi-based opponents.
However, the NJCAA recently added four new districts to the sport — a move that reflects the increased popularity of women's soccer over the last 10 years, said Mark Krug, assistant executive director of sports information and media relations for the NJCAA.
The redistricting has created a total of 12 districts, arranged with geographic sensibility and to include an equal number of teams. Also as part of the redistricting, the NJCAA has reconfigured the women's soccer national tournament, with all 12 teams that advance to the tournament guaranteed two games; the consolation bracket is being eliminated, though losers of semi-finals will play a game for third place.
"The move is toward a more championship-style tournament," Krug said.
All this means Polk State's schedule now includes opponents from the Magnolia State; the College will no longer face opponents from Alabama and Georgia.
"This move may or may not be beneficial, I am not sure yet," said Read. "Teams from Georgia have been my nemeses. If you look back over the past couple of years, the team to make it out of our district has won the national championship or was the runner-up."
Now, under the redistricting, the regional champion from Florida will play the regional champion from Mississippi for a chance to play in the NJCAA Division 1 Women's Soccer Championship.
To get acquainted with their new rivals, the Eagles will begin their regular season with a trip to Mississippi, where they will take on some of the state's top teams.
"I wanted to play some of the perennial powers in Mississippi," Read said.
The Eagles will play their first three games against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jones Community College and Pearl River Community College.
Mississippi Gulf Coast finished last season with a 16-4-1 record, was the Region 23 champion, and finished one spot outside the NJCAA Top 15 National Poll. Jones Community College finished last season with a 9-6 record and was the Region 23 champion in 2010. Pearl River Community College finished last season with a 17-2 record and was the 2009 Region 23 runner-up.
The Eagles will play a total of 19 regular season matches, including 11 at home, and will get things started much closer to home, with an Aug. 25 exhibition match against Eckerd College.