The 2012 campaign will serve as the program's 20th season of competition and looks to be an integral part of the Cougars' continued progression towards national prominence. Last season the Cougars recorded a program-record 13 wins and look to build upon that success in 2012.
Consistent with Michner's drive to gauge his team against the highest level of competition, the Cougars play another demanding out-of-conference slate to prepare themselves for the always-rigorous SoCon campaign.
After the fall season, the Cougars will have played against three of the four semifinalists from the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Cougars square off with Wake Forest and Florida State this season and met with Duke last fall, all three of which advanced to the 2011 semifinals.
"We have another great schedule for our girls in 2012," said Michner. "Our Southern Conference schedule is always challenging. We want to build the most competitive non-conference schedule that we can to really prepare for what we're going to face in conference. We've done that with some great teams out of the ACC which we'll play and a great team from the Big East which will test us as well as some really challenging teams from other conferences."
The Cougars open the campaign on Saturday, Aug. 11 with an exhibition match against Wake Forest at Patriots Point at 7 p.m. before hosting UNC Charlotte in the regular-season opener on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.
CofC will then compete in Coastal Carolina's tournament in Conway, S.C., where the team will see Western Michigan on Friday, Aug. 24 and Delaware on Sunday, Aug. 26.
Michner will then look to remain undefeated as CofC's head coach against crosstown-rival Charleston Southern when the Cougars challenge the Bucs on their campus on Friday, Aug. 31. Michner earned his first career victory over CSU in 2010 and saw the Cougars down the Bucs, 3-1, last season.
With little time in between, the Cougars then make the trek to Tallahassee, Fla., to challenge Florida State on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m.
CofC returns home for the annual College of Charleston Cup which pits the Cougars against South Florida on Friday, Sept. 7 and Eastern Kentucky on Sunday, Sept. 9. Kennesaw State will also participate in the tournament but will not play the Cougars.
The Cougars close out the non-conference schedule at Jacksonville on Friday, Sept. 14.
"You want to do your best to schedule a good non-conference portion to prepare yourself," said Michner, "but you want to do it smartly knowing the SoCon is the meat and potatoes of our schedule. That is the heart and soul of our success and what we'll measure ourselves against so you want to be sure that we're healthy, we're fit, we've been challenged and we're ready to go. There are no easy games in the Southern Conference. There are five, six or seven teams which can win the league this year. The schedule is no joke."
The SoCon slate opens with a pair of home game against Wofford and Furman on Friday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 23, respectively.
The next weekend the Cougars will take to the road to see UNC Greensboro on Friday, Sept. 28 and Elon on Sunday, Sept. 30.
The Cougars usher in October with a midweek game against Georgia Southern on Thursday, Oct. 4
CofC next embarks on a daytrip to Davidson for a Sunday afternoon showdown with the Wildcats on Sunday, Oct. 7.
The Cougars come home for a weekend set opening with Chattanooga on Friday, Oct. 12 and defending SoCon champion Samford on Sunday, Oct. 14.
The Cougars' last remaining road trip takes them to the mountains of North Carolina where they'll have to condition for the altitude adjustment against Western Carolina on Friday, Oct. 19 and Appalachian State on Sunday, Oct. 21.
CofC closes out the regular season against crosstown rival the Citadel on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Patriots Point.
All this leads up to the SoCon Championships beginning with the quarterfinal rounds to be played on Sunday, Oct. 28 on the campus sites of the higher-seeded teams.
The semifinals and finals will be held on Friday, Nov. 2 and Sunday, Nov. 4 in Birmingham, Ala., on the campus of Samford. Last season, the Cougars made a charge through the tournament which landed them in the finals where they ultimately fell to Samford in a tight, highly-contested 1-0 result.
Season-ticket packages and single-game ticket information will be released over the summer.