COLUMBIA, Ky. – Lindsey Wilson women’s soccer head coach Drew Burwash announced the schedule for the upcoming 2018 season on Friday.
The Blue Raiders, who are notorious for playing one of the toughest schedules in the country year in and year out, will once again be put to task as Lindsey Wilson faces seven teams that qualified for the national tournament last year, including three of the four national semifinalists and the 2017 NAIA National Champion. In all, 15 regular season matches are on the slate, eight home and seven away, against a total of eight teams that were ranked or receiving votes in the 2017 postseason poll, including the No. 1, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5-ranked teams.
The season opens on Aug. 21 as the Blue Raiders host Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) at Walter S. Reuling Stadium. Then Lindsey Wilson goes through a brutal, three-game road stretch against three of the top-five ranked teams from last year.
Lindsey Wilson starts the stretch at defending national champion Spring Arbor (Mich.) on Sept. 1. The Cougars have appeared in all three of the last NAIA National Championship matches, lifting the trophy in both 2015 and 2017. One week later is a trip to Lima, Ohio to face Northwestern Ohio on Sept. 8. The Racers captured the 2016 NAIA National Championship and finished as a national semifinalist last year. Lindsey Wilson, Spring Arbor and Northwestern Ohio have combined to capture five of the previous six national titles dating back to the 2012 season. It also marks the third-consecutive season Lindsey Wilson plays the defending national champion the next season.
The road trip concludes with another tough matchup in Pulaski, Tennessee at Martin Methodist (Tenn.) on Sept. 12. The RedHawks were the No. 1 overall seed and advanced to the national quarterfinals at last year’s championship tournament.
Next up is a four-game home stand that ends with the Mid-South Conference opener.
The Blue Raiders host Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) on Sept. 15 and Bryan (Tenn.) on Sept. 18. Both opponents qualified for national tournament play and were receiving votes in the postseason poll a year ago. Lindsey Wilson then hosts William Carey (Miss.) on Sept. 22, the final national semifinalist from last season who ended the year ranked No. 4.
The home stretch concludes as the Blue Raiders host Campbellsville (Ky.) on Sept. 26 to begin MSC play. Lindsey Wilson is a perfect 23-0-0 all-time against its rivals up the road.
October begins with LWC heading to Williamsburg, Kentucky to take on Cumberlands (Ky.) on Oct. 2 before returning to Walter S. Reuling Stadium to battle Georgetown (Ky.) on Oct. 5.
Lindsey Wilson travels to Pikeville (Ky.) on Oct. 9 and Cumberland (Tenn.) on Oct. 14.
The final non-conference matchup is a fall break trip to Lawrenceville, Georgia to take on national tournament qualifier Georgia Gwinnett on Oct. 19.
Shawnee State then visits Columbia on Oct. 26 before the regular season comes to a close on Oct. 28 as the Blue Raiders host Life (Ga.).
Postseason play is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1 with the Mid-South Conference Tournament in Bowling Green, Kentucky, followed by the NAIA National Championship Opening Round games on Nov. 17 at host campus locations. The NAIA National Tournament is scheduled to run Nov. 26 to Dec. 1 from the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Alabama.