Matches against the defending NCAA champions and the two teams that the Tigers defeated for their 1984 and 1987 national championships highlight the 2012 Clemson men's soccer schedule released by coach Mike Noonan.
Clemson will play host to the defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday, October 5.
Clemson will play Indiana as part of the Indiana Classic on August 31 and September 2. The Tigers defeated Indiana in the 1984 National Championship game in Seattle, Wash.
On Friday, October 19, the Tigers will also play host to San Diego State in a rematch of the 1987 NCAA game. That match was also played at Riggs Field 25 years ago. The Tigers defeated the Aztecs that day 2-0 before a then national championship-record crowd of 8,332, which still stands as the Clemson attendance record.
Clemson will attempt to break the record this fall as Clemson celebrates the 25th reunion of the 1987 team.
North Carolina also figured into Clemson's 1987 NCAA championship run, as the Tigers defeated the Tar Heels in the national semifinal match at Riggs Field, prior to defeating San Diego State for the title.
"We are looking forward to the challenges of this 2012 schedule," said Noonan, who is beginning his third season as Clemson’s head coach. "This will be one of the most challenging schedules in Division I soccer next fall but I feel our team is ready to be tested.
“There are incredible historic story lines for Clemson soccer, but the team's focus will be to be at our best in every match because that is what this schedule will demand. We have a schedule that will present many opportunities for our fans to not only watch great collegiate soccer, but also to participate in many athletic traditions that surround Clemson Athletics including the First Friday Parade, Homecoming and Rock the John.
“At the San Diego State match we will honor our 1987 National Championship Soccer team as well as all our alumni who have competed so successfully at Historic Riggs Field. The team and our staff can't help but be excited about this schedule, and we encourage our fans to purchase season tickets and be part of our home field advantage.”
Clemson’s schedule features eight home matches, including the Wake Forest match, which will be part of First Friday activities on Sept. 7. The soccer match will be played in conjunction with the First Friday Parade that will end at Riggs Field just prior to kickoff with the Demon Deacons.
In last year’s First Friday match, Clemson defeated South Carolina 2-0 on September 2, before a Riggs Field regular-season record of 7,423.
The Tigers will open the season on August 24th with a match against USC Upstate. After a match at Davidson on August 27, Clemson will travel to the Indiana Classic on August 31 and September 2. The Tigers will face perennial powers Indiana and Notre Dame at this famed tournament.
After the Wake Forest match, the Tigers will play host to Alabama-Birmingham on September 10.
After road matches with Duke on Sept. 14 and South Carolina on Monday, Sept. 17, Clemson will play host to N.C. State on Friday Sept. 21.
Clemson will play road matches at Virginia and UNC Greensboro before playing host to the defending National Champions North Carolina Tar Heels. This match will be part of the Homecoming weekend at Clemson. The match is set for Friday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m.
Clemson will play at Furman on October 9 and at Boston College on October 12. Clemson will then play three of their next four matches at Historic Riggs Field.
On Tuesday October 16, Clemson will play host to Gardner-Webb. The next home match will be against San Diego State as part of the Tigers' 25th Year Reunion of the 1987 national championship team. This weekend will feature various activities honoring the 1987 Clemson Soccer Team. This game is set for Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.
The Tigers will finish the regular season with matches at Maryland and a match with Virginia Tech at Clemson Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.
The ACC Tournament will be played on November 5-11 with the quarterfinals taking place at an on-campus site. The NCAA Tournament begins on November 15.
The Clemson men's soccer team averaged 2,111 fans at its home games during the 2011 season. The 2,111 figure was ranked ninth nationally in statistics released by the NCAA. Clemson has been ranked in the top 20 in attendance since the 2000 season.
Noonan's club continues to show improvement. Clemson won eight matches in 2011. The last time the Tigers won that many matches was in the 2006 campaign. The Tigers also won four ACC matches. The last time the Tigers won this many conference matches was in 2001. Clemson finished the year with a 4-4 record in league play. This was the first .500 season for league victories since the 2006 season when that team had a 3-3-2 record against ACC teams.