COLUMBIA, Ky. – The Lindsey Wilson women's soccer schedule for the 2017 campaign was released by head coach Drew Burwash on Monday.
Another tough slate is on the horizon for the Blue Raiders as Lindsey Wilson faces seven teams that qualified for the national tournament in 2016, including the defending national champion, the national runner-up and a national semifinalist. In all, LWC faces seven teams that were ranked 15th or better in the 2016 NAIA Postseason Poll.
The 2017 season kicks off on Aug. 19 when the Blue Raiders travel to Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio). The home opener is scheduled for Aug. 26 when LWC hosts Martin Methodist (Tenn.) under the lights at Walter S. Reuling Stadium.
September begins with a trip to Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) in Bourbonnais, Illinois on Sept. 2 before Lindsey Wilson opens a brutal four-game home stretch against some of the top competition in the nation.
The four-game gauntlet begins on Sept. 5 when Lindsey Wilson hosts Baker (Kan.), who advanced to the national semifinals in 2016. Next up is defending national champion Northwestern Ohio as the Racers pay a visit Walter S. Reuling on Sept. 9 in a rematch of the 2014 national title match, the last time the Blue Raiders claimed the championship red banner.
National runner-up Spring Arbor (Mich.) is up next as they face Lindsey Wilson on the first day of the Lindsey Wilson College Classic on Sept. 15. The past three seasons, Lindsey Wilson, Northwestern Ohio and Spring Arbor have each appeared twice in the NAIA National Championship match, with each team collecting one national title. The Blue Raiders wrap up the LWC Classic and their four-game home stand on Sept. 16 with Embry-Riddle (Ariz.), the first matchup in program history between the two institutions.
The Blue Raiders hit the road for a three-game stretch beginning on Sept. 22 against William Carey (Miss.) down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi before kicking off Mid-South Conference play against Shawnee State (Ohio) on Sept. 26 in Portsmouth, Ohio. LWC has won 16 all-time MSC regular season titles entering 2017 including three straight. The road trip concludes with a visit to Georgetown (Ky.) on Oct. 3.
The final six regular season matches alternate between home and away beginning with an Oct. 6 matchup in Columbia against Cumberland (Tenn.). LWC takes a break from conference play to head down to Mobile (Ala.) for an Oct.10 meeting.
The Blue Raiders resume MSC action at home against Pikeville (Ky.) on Oct. 14, part of a three-game stretch in seven days. LWC makes the trip down to Marietta, Georgia to play Life (Ga.) on Oct. 17 before returning home on Oct. 20 for the regular-season home finale against Cumberlands (Ky.). The regular season comes to a close on Oct. 25 when the Blue Raiders head down the road to rival Campbellsville (Ky.), making the schedule an even split with eight home matches and eight away matches in the regular season in 2017.
Postseason play begins on Nov. 3 with the Quarterfinal Round of the MSC Tournament in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The MSC Semifinals and Finals are scheduled for Nov. 9-10. NAIA National Tournament play begins on Nov. 18 with the Opening Round games played at host institutions with the winners advancing to the championship final site in Orange Beach, Alabama where play runs from Nov. 27 – Dec. 2.