Sun Belt Men’s Soccer Returns In Fall ’14
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Full-time members Georgia State, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern will play alongside affiliate members Hartwick, Howard and the New Jersey Institute of Technology in a single round robin schedule.
“The reintroduction of men’s soccer to the Sun Belt Conference means that we will be able to provide valuable opportunities for student-athletes and deliver them a first-class championship experience,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson. “Our new affiliate members provide us with a full field of competitive teams and we welcome them to the Sun Belt Conference.”
The Sun Belt will conduct a championship at one of the six institutions with the winner earning an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The championship format will see the top two teams from the regular season earning a bye into the tournament semifinals. A date and site for the championship will be announced in May.
Brett Surrency, Georgia State’s head soccer coach, praised the move.
“We look forward to representing the league in a positive light both on and off the field,” Surrency said. “It is exciting for us to have the opportunity to compete for an NCAA automatic bid through the conference tournament, and we relish the chance to develop strong, healthy rivalries with the other men’s soccer members in coming years.”
Benson said the conference is “optimistic at the possibility of sending multiple teams to the tournament field each year.”
The Sun Belt previously sponsored men’s soccer from 1976 to 1995. With the addition of men’s soccer, the Sun Belt will now sponsor 18 sports.