YORK, PA – The York College men's soccer squad enters the 2014 season with a familiar moniker, defending Capital Athletic Conference champions. The Spartans captured their fifth straight conference title last November and earned a ninth straight NCAA Tournament berth.
Spartan head coach Mark Ludwig must replace a strong senior class who combined to win 64 matches, four CAC championships and posted a 3-3-2 mark in the NCAA Tournament.
The non-conference slate is more than challenging as the Spartans' nine opponents combined to go 119-51-16 (68.2%) last year with five of the nine teams earning NCAA Tournament berths. Virginia Wesleyan and Franklin & Marshall won their respective conference championships while Messiah won the national championship.
The 2014 season kicks off with a non-conference date with Virginia Wesleyan at Graham Field on August 29. The game is a part of . Those two games are part of a season opening tournament co-hosted by York and Franklin & Marshall. On Friday in York, F&M and Rutgers-Camden square off followed by Virginia Wesleyan the Spartans. On Saturday, the action shifts to Lancaster with the Diplomats and the Spartans facing off at 7:00 pm while Rutgers-Camden and Virginia Wesleyan play in the opener. All four teams in the tournament won their conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2013.
The Green and White heads south the following Saturday when they trek to Rocky Mount, North Carolina to face North Carolina Wesleyan. The Spartans return home to kick off a tough three-game home stand against Alvernia (Sept. 10), Susquehanna (Sept. 13), and Johns Hopkins (Sept. 17).
That three game home stand is followed by a three game road trip featuring road games at Misericordia (Sept. 20) and Messiah (Sept. 24). Three days after taking on the defending national champion Falcons, the Spartans will open Capital Athletic Conference play with a trip to Christopher Newport to face the Captains in a highly anticipated regular season contest.
York heads back to Graham Field for another three-game home stand as they host Eastern (Oct. 1), Marymount (Va.) (Oct. 4), and Penn State Harrisburg (Oct. 8). The Marymount game will be held as a part of the College's Fall Fest Weekend.
The Spartans head back on the road for a trio of CAC contests as they head to Mary Washington (Oct. 11), Frostburg State (Oct. 15), and Southern Virginia (Oct. 18).
York closes out their regular season home schedule with a pair of conference games against Wesley (Oct. 22) followed by one of the best rivalries in all of Division III soccer when Salisbury comes to town on October 25.
The Spartans conclude the regular season on October 29 with a trip to St. Mary's.
The Capital Athletic Conference tournament starts on November 1 with the first round as the top two seeds earn first round byes. The semifinals will be held on November 5 followed by the championship match on November 8.
Ludwig believes the Spartans will face one of the premier schedules in the country.
"We promise every athlete we recruit that they will face the best teams in the country, year in and year out. We have again assembled a rigorous non-conference schedule in addition to facing one of the toughest conference slates in the nation. We strive for excellence and our schedule will test us each and every game," says Ludwig.
The Spartans commence training on August 15 in preparation for the 2014 season.