James Madison University men’s soccer 2019 schedule set
HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison University men’s soccer head Coach Paul Zazenski has announced the team’s 2019 schedule. The 2019 slate consists of 20 contests, two exhibitions, nine home matches and hosts its annual JMU Invitational.
“We are extremely excited about the 2019 slate. We have designed this schedule to provide opportunities to play some of the best teams in the country and I think we have accomplished that,” Head coach Paul Zazenski said.
To open up the season, the Dukes will play two exhibition matches including one in Sentara Park. JMU will travel to Fairfax to take on George Mason, before hosting Pittsburgh, August 23 at home. To kick off the regular season the Dukes will head south to take on FAU and FIU, as part of a weekend swing in South Florida. The Panthers were the only team to defeat the CUSA champs Kentucky during the season, knocking off the Wildcats 3-2 at home.
The Dukes will return home later that week to host their annual JMU Invitational tournament. James Madison will welcome in Hofstra and Loyola University-Maryland to kick off the tournament and will host one other program. The Dukes open up CAA play early in 2019 with a rematch of the CAA Final against Hofstra. JMU won the 2018 CAA Championship on penalty kicks, 4-2.
“Our road schedule will be a grind, but we are looking forward to embracing the difficulties that these road opponents present. We are looking forward to a competitive year and to challenging ourselves each and every time out.”
After two games at home the Dukes hit the road to take on CAA opponent Elon. The Dukes fell to Elon 1-0 on senior day last season, one of only two losses in conference play. JMU returns home that week to host Wake Forest and Mt. Saint Mary’s. The Demon Deacons finished the 2018 season with an 18-3 record, defeating five ranked opponents and three inside the top-10. Wake Forest took down No. 2 Indiana at home to kick off an 11-match winning streak. The Demon Deacons made the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round before falling to Akron 1-0 at home and finishing the season ranked No. 6.
JMU will continue conference play with a meeting against Drexel, who was ranked inside the top 25 last season, and will host Cal State Fullerton at Sentara Park. The Dukes traveled out to California last season, drawing with Cal State Fullerton 1-1 in double overtime, before falling to UC Irvine 2-1 in double overtime.
James Madison will wrap up the season with six of their final eight matches on the road. A stretch of four straight road contests begins with conference play against Northeastern. The Dukes will then travel to Philadelphia for a Tuesday meeting at Villanova. JMU will continue the road stint with a conference match against Delaware, who the Dukes beat 4-0 at home last season. A Tuesday meeting with UVA wraps up the four-match road streak for the Dukes. UVA fell in the first round of the ACC tournament 2-0 to Pittsburgh, but finished the season with a 10-4-3 record, allowing them to earn a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers defeated Furman 2-0 in the second round and fell to Notre Dame in third round 1-0 in overtime. UVA was ranked No. 15 heading into the offseason.
JMU will split the final four matches of the season, playing two inside the friendly confines of Sentara Park. The Dukes host UNCW, one of the two conference losses for the Dukes, before heading to Penn State for a Tuesday meeting with the Nittany Lions. In Big 10 play the Nittany Lions tied No. 21 Michigan. The Dukes wrap up the regular season with a road trip to Charleston and host William & Mary for the final time in Sentara Park.