BALTIMORE, Md. – Head coach Bryan Laut has announced his 2019 Goucher College men's soccer schedule. The 18-game slate is highlighted by nine home games including the first four games and six of the first seven matches at Beldon Field.
The Gophers will start its 10th season under Laut with back-to-back games at home against DeSales (August 30) and Neumann (August 31). The squad, who will start a campaign at home for the first time since the 2016 season, battles DeSales for the fourth time in program history and for first time in three season. Neumann returns to the schedule for the first time since the 2006 season with the all-time series all square at 2-2-1.
"We are starting the year playing a challenging slate of games," said Laut. "We face two regular season conference champions, two strong Centennial Conference schools and four schools that competed in their conference playoffs. This group of teams will provide the proper competitive balance that will give us the opportunity to prepare our young team for what is needed to be successful in college soccer and allow us to find the right mix in the team to be ready for the always competitive Landmark Conference season."
Goucher will host Cairn on September 4 and Rosemont on September 7. Cairn earned the first win in the series with the Gophers last year, but Goucher holds a 3-1 edge in the all-time series while the Baltimore-based team defeated Rosemont 3-0 in 2018 to take a 6-0-1 advantage in the all-time series.
The team will hit the road for the first time at Washington (Md.) on September 11 for the 28th meeting between the two Old Line State programs.
After the trip to Chestertown, Md., the Gophers return to Beldon Field to host Immaculata on September 14 and McDaniel on September 17 to complete a stretch of six out of the first seven matches at home. The series is tied at 1 with Immaculata in a series that began in 2008 while Goucher will face McDaniel for the 21st time in team history.
"The schedule this year starts off with a strong home push," said Laut. "The idea is the home games will allow our young team to be able to grow in a comfortable environment and reach our peak level sooner rather than later."
The squad will then embark on a season-long three-game road trip at Wesley (September 21), Drew (September 28) and Hood (October 2). The Gophers will face Wesley for the eighth time in program history while opening Landmark Conference play against Drew for the second-straight season and on the road in conference play for the first time since the 2016 season. It will be the 13th meeting against Drew in team history. Despite a loss against Hood last year, the Baltimore-based team holds a 10-3-1 margin against Hood all-time.
Goucher will return to Beldon Field to make its 2019 league home debut against Scranton on October 5 for the 15th meeting in the all-time series.
The squad travels to Wilson in the second-ever meeting on October 8. The Gophers defeated Wilson 4-0 in 2018 to take the inaugural matchup between the two teams.
Juniata comes to town on October 12 after Goucher defeated Juniata 3-2 last year to take a 6-3-3 lead in the all-time series.
A trip to the nation's capital to face Catholic on October 23 begins stretch that will see the Gophers on the road for three of its final four matches. It will be the 35th meeting in the all-time series against its longtime rivals.
"The conference is so competitive and close every year and the margin of being a playoff team or a team on the outside comes to down to the smallest of details," said the coach. "Our goal is to have the team as fit and prepared as possible for each league game starting with Drew so we give ourselves the best opportunity to find the points needed in each game to reach our goals of being a playoff team."
Goucher will host Elizabethtown on October 26 for its final home regular season contest of the year. The Gophers will be looking for their first win against Elizabethtown in six tries.
The team travels to Gwynedd Mercy on October 29 and Moravian on November 2 to conclude the regular season. Goucher defeated Gwynedd Mercy 8-1 last season to take a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series while the series with Moravian is tied at 5-5-1.
Goucher looks to finish as one of the Top-4 teams in the standings to advance to the Landmark Conference postseason for the first time since 2014. The semifinals are on November 6 and the championship match will take place on November 9.