The York College men's soccer team enters the 2013 campaign facing another challenging slate as the Spartans look to make their school-record ninth straight NCAA Division III Tournament appearance and capture their fifth straight Capital Athletic Conference crown.
The Spartans finished 12th in the nation in Division III in 2012 as they advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
The 2013 schedule features nine non-conference teams that went a combined 108-47-17 with three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances in 2012. The three teams on the schedule who advanced to the tournament are Messiah, Christopher Newport and Susquehanna. Messiah advanced past the Spartans in an epic Sweet 16 clash at Graham Field in on Nov. 18 and went on to capture the Division III national championship. That rematch highlights an impressive home schedule. The Falcons return to York on Tuesday, Sept. 24, for a 4 p.m. contest.
League play brings a new look to the CAC.Christopher Newport, Penn State Harrisburg and Southern Virginia join the conference for 2013. CNU was an at-large NCAA D-III Tournament selection out of the USA South. CNU finished the season 15-4-2. The Spartans knocked off the Captains 2-1 last season in the Joe Pombriant/CNU Classic in Newport News in early September. With the addition of the three teams, the Spartans will now play nine conference contests, followed by the conference tournament in early November.
Head coach Mark Ludwig knows the schedule will be tough but likes how it lines up for the Spartans.
"The 2013 schedule will once again be one of the most competitive in the country," says Ludwig. "We will be facing six to eight teams that consistently compete in the NCAA tournament and show up in the regional rankings. With the addition of three new teams in the CAC, the conference will be one of the strongest in the region. Our players look forward to the challenge ahead and with excellent preparation, we hope to put a good product on the field again this year."
York opens the campaign with their annual trip to Millville to play at Millard C. Ludwig Stadium against Lycoming College on Aug. 30.
The Spartans then begin their home slate on that Sunday, Sept. 1, when they host North Carolina Wesleyan. After a home game against a Penn State Abington team that went 11-5 last year on Sept. 7, the Spartans head to the road for a big three-game swing that features games at Alvernia (14-7-3), Susquehanna (18-3-1), and Johns Hopkins (8-8-2). York returns home on Sept. 21, when they kick off a three-game home stand against Neumann (12-7-3), Messiah (23-0-2), and the CAC opener against Mary Washington on Sept. 28.
York makes a mid-week trip to Eastern University to open the October portion of the schedule before returning home for the highly anticipated matchup against Christopher Newport on Oct. 5. Conference road games at Wesley and Marymount follow before the Spartans come back to Graham Field on Oct. 16 against St. Mary's.
Two big road games at Salisbury on Oct. 19 and Penn State Harrisburg on the 23rd loom before the Spartans close out their regular season with home games against Southern Virginia on Oct. 26 and Frostburg State four days later.
The conference tournament opens on Nov. 2 with the championship game being held seven days later at the site of the highest remaining seed.
Go here for the full schedule.