AZUSA, Calif. -- The Azusa Pacific men’s soccer program will host its first Cougar Classic since 2004, welcoming GSAC rival Westmont College along with another pair of NAIA West Coast programs, kicking off the home portion of the Cougars’ tentative 17-match 2007 regular season schedule released today. Five of the 7 non-conference foes were NAIA regional playoff participants in 2006, including 3 programs whose seasons wrapped up on the wrong end of a regional playoff penalty kick shootout.
The 7-match non-conference lineup is progressively challenging, with the Cougars opening the campaign with a pair of games at Westmont’s Heritage Club Classic, taking on a pair of teams who each finished 1 game over .500 a year ago. On Friday, Aug. 31, Azusa Pacific takes on Northwestern College (Iowa), the 2006 NAIA Region III runner-up. The following day, the Cougars will meet up with Dominican University, an NAIA Region II independent.
The Cougar Classic, which had not been held in each of the past 2 seasons, pits the 2 GSAC representatives against NAIA Region II independent Cal State San Marcos and Corban College (Ore.), an NAIA Region I semifinalist in 2006.
Up next for the Cougar men is a trip to Columbia, Ky., where they and the Cougar women will play a pair of matches Sept. 14-15 at Lindsey Wilson College against the host Blue Raiders and an additional opponent. The men will square off with University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), a Region XI semifinalist in 2006 on Friday, Sept. 14, before taking on 2006 NAIA Tournament participant Lindsey Wilson on Saturday, Sept. 15.
The non-conference schedule wraps up with a final home tuneup on Saturday, Sept. 22, when the Cougars host NAIA Region V semifinalist Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.), a 16-3-1 squad in 2006.
From there, the always-challenging Golden State Athletic Conference slate takes over, beginning with a Tuesday, Sept. 25 visit to Fresno Pacific. The Cougars’ conference home opener is Saturday, Sept. 29 against San Diego Christian.