Thursday Sept 4, 2008
AUGUSTA, GA -- The Peach Belt Conference and commissioner David Brunk announced that the 2008 men’s and women’s soccer finals will be played at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga. It marks the first time the soccer tournament will be played on a neutral field and the first time the league office, working with community and civic organizations, will oversee every aspect of the championship. It will also be the first time the men’s and women’s finals have been played in the same location.
"This is the culmination of discussion over a year and I am very pleased it has come to fruition," said commissioner Brunk. "Blanchard Woods is an outstanding facility and will enable us to provide our goal: a true championship environment for our student-athletes. This is something our coaches have wanted for some time."
The final four men’s and women’s teams will play their semifinal and final matches at Blanchard Woods on Friday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 9. Friday’s semifinals will be played on two fields consecutively beginning with the women’s games at 5:30 pm and the men’s games following at 7:30. The women’s championship game will begin at 1:00 on Sunday with the men at 3:30.
"This is one of the best soccer complexes in the country and we are thrilled to welcome the Peach Belt to Columbia County," said Charlie Beale, Recreation Manager for Columbia County. "This will be a significant tournament not just for the play on the field, but for the $350,000 of economic impact this tournament will generate."
During Saturday’s off day, the winners of the semifinal matches will participate in the PBC community engagement project Breakfast With The Champions which will pair PBC student-athletes and youth soccer groups ages 12 and under for a morning mini-clinic and other activities. The breakfast will also take place at Blanchard Woods.
"This will be a full weekend of soccer," said Brunk. "The Saturday events will help get the local community involved and help us to build a bridge between the Peach Belt Conference and the CSRA."
The first round of the PBC soccer tournament will be played on campus Tuesday, Nov. 4. The four women’s winners and three men’s winners will then travel to Augusta for the championship rounds. The top seed on the men’s side receives a bye into the semifinals.
"The women’s soccer coaches are thrilled about this," said USC Aiken head women’s soccer coach Susan Vodicka. "Having the men’s and women’s teams together will energize the entire CSRA community and I know they will come out and support this tournament. Its an opportunity to reach the local soccer community in a whole new way."