Women’s Soccer Preview: Queens – UNC Wilmington Athletics

WILMINGTON, North Carolina – With two exhibition contests complete, the UNCW women’s soccer team turns its attention to the regular season opener in Queens on Thursday at Dickson Field.

The 6 pm kick-off will mark the first contest the Royals will play at the NCAA Division I level in any sport.

The Seahawks, 11-4-1 in 2021, return after winning the school’s first Colonial Athletic Association regular season crown. The Royals, 16-5-1 a year ago, are fresh off their third NCAA Championship appearance after posting the most wins in program history.

Live stats will be available on UNCWStats.com. The game will be streamed on the Queens Sports Network. Tickets to Thursday’s season opener can be purchased by visiting QueensAthletics.com/Tickets.


FOR STARTERS | UNCW is 13-14-1 all-time in season openers, including an even 2-2 mark under the head coach. Chris Neal. The Seahawks start the season on the road for the fourth time in five years under Neal.

VETERAN CLUB | UNCW, which topped the CAA Preseason Poll, welcomes back eight players who started 11 or more games, including three All-CAA performers – Kayla Burroughs, Makaya Parham and Talia Parrous – from one year ago.

SCOUTING THE ROYALS | The Royals, in their first season under Head Coach Shannon Neely Noel, return the top-two leading scorers – Nia Gaither and Mia Manuel – from last season. The seniors combined for 11 goals in 2021. Heading up the Royals defense that limited opponents to 12 goals are defender Jada Palmer and goalkeeper Erica Turner, whose 0.54 goals-against average ranked third in the South Atlantic Conference.

BATTLE: NC | Queens is the first of seven in-state opponents on the Seahawks’ 2022 docket. UNCW will face six foes from the state of North Carolina over its first eight matches to begin the season.

LOOKING AHEAD | UNCW continues its season-opening, three-game road swing on Sunday, Aug. 21, at No. 10 North Carolina at 1 pm It will mark the Seahawks’ second appearance against the Tar Heels with the first game occurring at a neutral site in Durham, NC, on Sept. 9, 2017.

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