PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The Lake Erie College men's soccer team opens its first season in the seven-team Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a challenging schedule loaded with road games.
The Storm, which was 7-11-2 last season, will play a pair of
games on the road against NCAA qualifiers, Ashland and Mercyhurst.
The Storm's showcase win last season – a 3-1 triumph in
Painesville – came against the Lakers, who were the
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champions.
"We play some very good teams like Tiffin, Ashland and Mercyhurst," Lake Erie head coach Jim Buchan said. "We'll be competing with the goal of being in the top four in the conference in order to go into the playoffs."
Lake Erie will open the regular season at Wheeling Jesuit on Sept. 2 then host Urbana (Sept. 5) and Ashland (Sept. 8) for the home and GLIAC openers, respectively. The Storm will then open a six-game road trip on Sept. 10 at Findlay before traveling to Tiffin (Sept. 12), Ohio Dominican (Sept. 19), Mercyhurst (Sept. 21), Gannon (Sept. 25) and Walsh (Sept. 28).
"We have to take each game as its own situation," Buchan said. "[The road-heavy schedule] will help our team bond together and unite."
Lake Erie returns home for a pair of GLIAC games on Oct. 1 and Oct. 3 against Saginaw Valley and Northwood (both of whom the Storm beat last season in Michigan). The Storm then hits the road for its final four road games of the season at Seton Hill (Oct. 7), Ashland (Oct. 10), Saginaw Valley (Oct. 15) and Northwood (Oct. 17).
Buchan said the Storm will need to win away games in order to qualify for the conference tournament.
The Storm will host Ohio Dominican (Oct. 24), Findlay (Oct. 29) and Tiffin (Oct. 31) to close the regular season.
"We feel like we can be competitive and play good soccer." Buchan said. "We want to represent Lake Erie College with credibility and respect. After that, everything will fall into place."