by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College women's soccer team will play nine of its 17 matches at home in 2017, including two contests in a new season-opening tournament to be held at the Barton Outdoor Athletics Complex.
The Lady Bulldogs will welcome South Atlantic Conference members Anderson University and Catawba College to campus for games on September 1 and 3, respectively, as part of the BC Classic. Those two teams will also play the University of Missouri-St. Louis during the weekend.
"We are pleased to have the chance to bring three quality college programs to Wilson and showcase their abilities," said Thomas Goines, Barton's third-year head coach. "Catawba and Anderson bring the high standard of the SAC to our field and UMSL qualified for the NCAA tournament last season, so they should present an opportunity for our program and community to see NCAA Division II women's soccer played at a very high level."
Barton's home schedule features matchups against 2016 Conference Carolinas champion Limestone College for Family Weekend on September 16, rival University of Mount Olive on October 5, and King University for Homecoming on October 28.
The Lady Bulldogs will also host a non-conference matchup against first-year program Shaw University on September 6 and league matches against Converse College (September 13), Erskine College (October 7) and Emmanuel College (October 14).
Barton's first road match of the year will also serve as its conference opener, a September 9 visit to Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C. Among BC's other road challenges will be a contest at 2016 league runner-up Belmont Abbey College on September 30 and a non-conference match at SAC member Mars Hill University on October 25.
The Lady Bulldogs will also hit the road for games at Pfeiffer University (September 19), Southern Wesleyan University (September 23), Chowan University (October 11), Columbia International University (October 17) and North Greenville University (October 21).
"The 2017 schedule is going to present our young team with quality opponents in and out of conference play," Goines said. "We will have a great opportunity for growth and success in front of us this year."
The first round of the conference tournament will take place on October 30, and Barton hopes to qualify for a fifth straight season. The Lady Bulldogs placed fifth in the league last year, the program's best finish since 2013.
NOTE: The 2017 Barton College women's soccer schedule is subject to change. Fans are encouraged to check the women's soccer schedule page on www.BartonBulldogs.com throughout the season to confirm dates, times and locations.