WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW Women’s Soccer Head Coach Paul Cairney has announced the 2014 schedule, an 18-game slate that features nine home games, eight away matches and one neutral contest.

The Seahawks begin preparations for the season with a pair of exhibition contests when national powers and state foes UNC Chapel Hill (Aug. 13) and Duke (Aug. 16) visit the UNCW Soccer Stadium before the start of the regular season.

UNCW kicks off the regular campaign by visiting Atlantic Coast Conference foe NC State (Aug. 22) before returning home two days later to entertain Georgia Southern (Aug. 24). A road contest at Campbell (Aug. 29) and a visit from Queen City rival UNC Charlotte (Aug. 31) bring the month of August to a close.

“The early portion of our non-conference schedule matches us up with strong teams from strong leagues,” said UNCW Head Coach Paul Cairney. “Moreover, it allows us to continue and grow some fantastic in-state rivalries.”

September starts off with a challenging stretch when the team battles 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Wake Forest (Sept. 5) and Virginia Tech (Sept. 7) in the Virginia Tech Tournament in Blacksburg, Va. The Demon Deacons advanced to the second round of the 64-team event last fall, while the Hokies made their first Women’s College Cup appearance before bowing out to Florida State in the national semifinals.

“Five of our first eight games in 2014 will be against ACC opponents,” Cairney noted. “This is an exciting prospect for a team that only has three seniors on the roster. In addition, it really does get our team ready to know what it takes to compete and win at the highest level.”

Tournament play continues the following weekend when Cairney’s club entertains Coastal Carolina, Colonial Athletic Association newcomer Elon and Francis Marion in the UNCW Hilton Garden Inn Mayfaire Invitational at the UNCW Soccer Stadium. The Seahawks are slated to face the Chanticleers (Sept.12) and the Patriots (Sept. 14) during the two-day event.

Non-conference play concludes with a home matchup against longtime foe East Carolina (Sept. 19). The teams meet for the ninth consecutive season and the 21st time overall.

UNCW’s September slate wraps up with a pair of CAA matchups as the Seahawks open league play with road contests at Delaware (Sept. 26) and Drexel (Sept. 28).

October opens with home matches against William & Mary (Oct. 3) and Elon (Oct. 5) and continues with visits to Towson (Oct. 12) and James Madison (Oct. 14) and home contests versus defending league champion Northeastern (Oct.17) and Hofstra (Oct. 19). The regular season finishes with a visit to low country foe College of Charleston (Oct. 26).   

The 2014 CAA Women's Soccer Championship will once again be a six-team event that begins Nov. 2 with first-round contests at campus sites. The winners of the two first-round contests will join the top two seeds for the semifinals (Nov. 7) and championship (Nov. 9) at the home of the regular-season champion.

“I expect the 2014 CAA race to be close once again,” said Cairney. “Elon is another quality team that will compete right away for a championship. We have had different champions over the past nine seasons and it really does make every game be played like a cup final. Every point is precious and every game is an opportunity to finish in the upper half of our league.”