CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University women's soccer program has finalized its 2018 competition schedule with 19 regular season matches, featuring the season opener in nearby Manchester, Vt., nine subsequent home matches, and 10 contests against teams with winning records in 2017, including four against 2017 NCAA Tournament participants.
Castleton, itself a 2017 NCAA Tournament team after winning the North Atlantic Conference Tournament, opens the season against Plattsburgh State, who finished second in the SUNYAC last year. The match against the Cardinals will take place Friday, Aug. 31, at Applejack Stadium in Manchester, Vt., starting at 4 p.m.
The Spartans play their next two matches on the road, first facing Sage Sunday, Sept. 2, before traveling to take on defending MASCAC champion Westfield State Wednesday, Sept. 5. Castleton returns home for consecutive matches, welcoming Emmanuel College Saturday, Sept. 8, and MCLA Wednesday, Sept. 12.
Castleton opens its inaugural league slate in the Little East Conference with a road contest Saturday, Sept. 15, at Western Connecticut State, the defending LEC Tournament champion with a 17-2-2 overall record last year. After hosting former conference rival New England College Tuesday, Sept. 18, the Spartans travel for an LEC match at Rhode Island College Saturday, Sept. 22.
The first home conference contest comes Wednesday night, Sept. 26, against UMass Boston, leading into a tough stretch of three matches in five days. The Spartans play at Endicott College, the defending regular season CCC champion, Saturday, Sept. 29, host defending national champion Williams College Sunday, Sept. 30, and travel to 2017 NCAA Tournament team Middlebury Wednesday, Oct. 3.
The Spartans return to league play with a road game at UMass Dartmouth Saturday, Oct. 6. Castleton enters a three-match homestand Wednesday, Oct. 10, against Plymouth State, followed by games against Eastern Connecticut State Saturday, Oct. 13, and Maine-Farmington Sunday, Oct. 14.
Castleton heads to New Hampshire twice, first to face Keene State Saturday, Oct. 20, and then to take on Colby-Sawyer College Tuesday, Oct. 23. The Spartans close the regular season at home against Southern Maine Saturday, Oct. 27.
The top six teams in the final regular season standings will qualify for the LEC Tournament, with seeds three through six competing in the quarterfinals Tuesday, Oct. 30. The top two seeds receive a bye into the semifinals, with the top seed hosting the semifinals Friday, Nov. 2, and the championship match Saturday, Nov. 3. The winner of the league tournament will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Chris Chapdelaine enters his 14th season as head coach of the Castleton women's soccer team with an overall record of 160-90-21 (.629).