Chants’ switch to Sun Belt creates bicoastal schedule

ccusoc-headerCoastal Carolina University men’s soccer head coach Shaun Docking announced his program’s 2016 schedule Tuesday. The Chanticleers, which will make their Sun Belt Conference debut this fall, will face one of the toughest slates in the nation as they take the pitch against traditional national powers Virginia and UCLA along with regional rivals South Carolina, Clemson, Charlotte and College of Charleston.

The challenging 17-game schedule not only features five teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2015, but also the national runner-up in Clemson. Additional schedule highlights are eight home fixtures at the CCU Soccer Stadium, including showdowns with in-state rivals South Carolina and Clemson.

Coastal plays a pair of exhibition matches before the regular season kicks off Aug. 26. The Chanticleers host NC State in their first exhibition Sunday, Aug. 14, before closing the exhibition season at Wofford on Aug. 21.

The 2016 regular season opens with the Chanticleers heading north to the Old Dominion state to take on Virginia and William & Mary. The Chants are slated to play at seven-time national champion Virginia on Friday, Aug. 26, before traveling to Williamsburg to face the Tribe on Monday, Aug. 29. Coastal is 0-1-0 all-time against Virginia with the only meeting coming during the 1987 campaign. The Chants leveled the all-time series with William & Mary at 2-2-0 with a 2-nil home win last season.

The Chants open in front of their home fans at the CCU Soccer Stadium, where the team is 93-22-9 all-time, for the first of three consecutive games on Sept. 2 against VCU. Coastal then faces UAB on Sept. 5 before welcoming South Carolina back to the Grand Strand for the third time in the last four years on Sept. 9.

Coastal then makes the trip up to regional-rival Charlotte on Sept. 13. The Chanticleers and 49ers have played six times since 2011 with Charlotte winning the first three and Coastal the most recent three.

The Chants continue their road swing at UNC Greensboro (Sept. 20), Radford (Sept. 24) and College of Charleston (Sept. 28) before returning to Conway to face Old Dominion (Oct. 1) and Clemson (Oct. 4).

Coastal begins its Sun Belt play at Hartwick on Oct. 8 before hosting Georgia Southern (Oct. 15). A trip to Appalachian State (Oct. 19) and a home clash against Howard (Oct. 22) await before the Chants head west to face perennial power UCLA on Oct 29. The team then returns home on Nov. 5 to wrap up the regular season with a match against Georgia State.

The Sun Belt Championship will be contested Nov. 10 (quarterfinal), Nov. 11 (semifinal) and Nov. 13 (final) is hosted by Georgia State at its facility in Atlanta, Ga.

The NCAA Tournament starts on Nov. 17 with the first four rounds hosted on campus sites. The College Cup will take place Dec. 9 and 11 in Houston, Texas, and will be hosted at the Houston Dynamo’s BBVA Compass Stadium.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletcs

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