RALEIGH, NC – The Shaw University men's and women's soccer team has released its 2017 fall schedule, head coach Luis Cortell announced Tuesday. Cortell is entering his first official year at the helm of the newly added men's and women's soccer programs after spending the past year leading a talented club soccer team for both men's and women's at Shaw.
Prior to Shaw, Cortell spent one year at the Charlotte United Futbol Club in Charlotte, NC. Before moving to Charlotte, Cortell was head coach of the West Virginia Tech University soccer team for five years where he holds the all-time record for winning percentage at .777 (70-18-6), career wins, wins in a season, and all his teams were ranked in every single-season category.
On the women's side, Shaw's first year will be highlighted by seven Division II contests, one Division III match and two home competitions. The 2017 Lady Bears will take the field the first time in an exhibition at Charlotte and Wales on Aug. 22 before opening the season with a home opener versus North Carolina FC on Aug. 24 in Holly Springs, NC. Shaw will then begin a 13-game road slate that will include Emmanuel (Sept. 1), North Greenville (Sept. 4), Barton (Sept. 6), Coker (Sept. 9), Oakwood (Sept. 15), Life (Sept. 17), Lincoln (PA) (Sept. 20), Carlow (Sept. 21), Cincinnati Clermont (Sept. 22), William Peace (Sept. 26), Mount Olive (Oct. 2), Five Towns (Oct. 6) and Christendom (Oct. 7).
For senior day, the Lady Bears will host Lincoln on Oct. 14 and wrap up the remaining schedule on the raod at Chowan (Oct. 18), Brevard (Oct. 28), Central Penn (Oct. 30) and Washington Adventist (Oct.31).
"We have done a great job recruiting a mix of transfer juniors and true freshman where the team is split evenly down the middle," added Coach Cortell. "Our experienced juniors will have to show all the incoming freshman what it takes to compete at the NCAA II level from the very start of the whistle. I believe our team balance will allow us to develop team chemistry and for our young players to learn and get adapted to the physicality and speed of play at the NCAA II level."
For the men's program, the Bears 2017 season will feature 17 total matches, including eight games versus Division II opponents, six contests versus United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) opponents and one home match. For the first time in program history, Shaw will take the field against Emmanuel on Sept. 1 before taking on Coker on Sept. 9. Following a matchup with Belmont Abbey on Sept. 13, the Bears will continue a 10-game road trip at Oakwood (Sept. 15), Life (Sept. 17), Carlow (Sept. 21), Cincinnati Clermont (Sept. 22), Montreat (Sept. 27), Mount Olive (Oct. 2), Five Towns (Oct. 6), Christendom (Oct. 7), Catawba (Oct. 10) and Pfeiffer (Oct. 12).
Shaw will host Wake Tech CC on Oct. 15 for senior day and conclude the regular season with a three-game road slate at Barton (Oct. 18), Brevard (Oct. 28) and Washington Adventist (Oct. 31).
Cortell added, "Our men's schedule will provide us with an opportunity to test ourselves on the road to earn an at large bid to the NCAA II playoffs. Most of our players will be freshman and sophomores, so the challenge to play against older and more experienced teams will allow our team chemistry to grow quicker by testing ourselves on the road and bonding throughout our road trips. Team chemistry will be the determined factor in our success next season."
All home matches will be played at Wakemed Soccer Park located on 201 Soccer Park Drive, Cary, NC. Admission to all Shaw men's and women's soccer games is free.
With the addition of men's and women's soccer, Shaw will now offer a total of 13 sport teams that include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's tennis, football, women's bowling, women's volleyball, women's outdoor track and field, and softball.
For the most up-to-date information Shaw men's and women's soccer and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit shawbears.com.