SAINT LEO, Fla. – After securing a last-minute change, Head Coach Joel Harrison was able to announce his 2009 men’s soccer opponents last week, concreting a strong fall lineup for the Saint Leo Lions.

The opening contest was the last one to be finalized when the original opening day opponent could not make it to Florida to face SLU.  As a result, the Lions will see Clearwater Christian College visiting University Field for an August 27th game against the Lions to kick the season off.  This is the first of two home games to open the season as they will then face North Georgia College, from Dahlonega, Ga. in an August 29th tilt.

The Lions will embark on their first road trip of the season the weekend of September 4th as they join the women’s team and travel to Pensacola where they will face West Florida, who handed both teams their first losses in 2008, and a neutral site contest at UWF’s field against Delta State.

Another long trip awaits the Lions the weekend after they return from the Florida panhandle as they travel to Americus, Ga. on September 11th and square off against Georgia Southwestern State University, who the Lions upended 5-0 at University Field last season.

A September 18th contest against Palm Beach Atlantic opens a stretch where seven of the following eight games are played in on the familiar turf of University Field.  The games will feature four Sunshine State Conference games against Rollins, Florida Tech, Lynn and Florida Southern as the Lions will attempt to draw even with three of those four teams as they handed SLU road losses last season.

The lone road contest during that stretch is a September 29th game against Eckerd where Saint Leo will have to travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. and face the Tritons on the artificial field turf that always poses a problem for unfamiliar teams.

The Florida Southern home game on October 14th will be the final regular season contest of the season and, as a result, will also be Senior Day for the men’s soccer team.

The regular season closes with three pivotal SSC road games with contests against Barry, Nova Southeastern and Tampa.  At that point of the year, those contests could shape up to be critical SSC matches.  The Tampa game, the final contest of the season, will be on Thursday night, October 29th at Tampa’s Pepin Stadium.

The Sunshine State Conference Tournament will get underway November 3rd with the tournament championship being awarded on November 8th.

At the conclusion of the SSC Tournament, the Lions will hope to be looking for an NCAA postseason bid to the South Region Championships which will take place November 12th – 15th.

The NCAA Division II National Championships will be contested December 4th – 6th in Tampa.

The entire 2009 Saint Leo men’s soccer schedule is available at SaintLeoLions.com by following the men’s soccer links.  The schedule is subject to change so be sure to check back frequently for updates.

A new website feature added this year allows Microsoft Outlook users to download all Saint Leo athletic schedules to their calendar.  Locate the schedule you would like to save and scroll to the bottom for instructions on how to import the schedule to your computer.