FORT MYERS, Fla., - FGCU women's soccer head coach Jim Blankenship has announced their 2007 soccer schedule. The first women's soccer game at FGCU will take place on August 31 at 7:00 pm in the Embassy Suites Kick-Off Classic against Alabama State.
"To open up against a Division I team at the new soccer complex is very exciting," Blankenship stated.
"I am thrilled that we get a chance to start in Division I and a great conference like the Atlantic Sun. I hope we can improve and get better each game." Blankenship said about starting a program from scratch in a Division I setting.
2007 will be the inaugural season for the FGCU women's soccer program as FGCU added three sports to make the jump to Division I. Other then Alabama State, the Eagles will also host Florida Atlantic, Murray State and Toledo in non-conference play to along with conference foes Campbell, Gardner-Webb, East Tennessee State, Jacksonville, and another new comer to the Atlantic Sun, USC Upstate.
The Eagles will open up their conference play September 28th as they travel to Mercer, two days later they will play against another Atlantic Sun power Kennesaw State.
"To open up conference play on the road against Mercer and Kennesaw State will be a good test for us. Those two teams are probably the top two teams in our league," Blankenship stated.
The Eagles have 19 regular season matches on the schedule to go along with two exhibitions. Of those 19, matches 11 of those will be in conference play. Blankenship has great respect for the Atlantic Sun Conference, "Being a coach in the Atlantic Sun Conference before, I have great respect and admiration for the teams and the coaches in the conference," Blankenship said.
October 4 will be their first conference home match, as the Eagles host Campbell, two days later they will host Gardner-Webb. FGCU will end their first season November 3 as they travel to Deland, Fla. and face Stetson.