USC Aiken will be third school in the Peach Belt Conference with women's soccer when they hit the field on Saturday hosting Mt. Olive at 2p.m.
"We've been working hard and we're excited," said coach Ike OfojeThe Pacers' Athletics department has been busy adding women's sports like women's tennis, in the spring, and soccer to be in compliance with Title IX, the federal law mandating gender equality. With the addition of the two sports USC Aiken will have 12 sports with six for women and six for men.
While USC Aiken has added two women's sports in the last year, Augusta State is not looking to add any sports in the near future. According to Sports Information Director, Frank Mercogliano, the school is in compliance with Title IX with 11 sports.
The Lady Pacers will play a 16 game schedule with four games being played as part of a double hitter with the men's team.
Clayton College and State and Francis Marion and North Florida are the only three teams besides USC Aiken with a women's soccer program.
Lander will add a team for next season. Unfortunately none of these teams can challenge for a Peach Belt Conference title because the conference need six teams to be sanctioned by the conference.
Coach Ike Ofoje will be a busy man this season. He will be running both the men's and women's soccer program.
"It takes a lot of planning and alternating the practice schedules," said Ofoje.
Ofoje will have some help with the women's program. Laura Roth came to Aiken two weeks ago as an graduate assistant coach.
The team will have an Aiken County presence with five out of the 15 players on the roster.
The team is in for a long season with very few players that have played soccer before.
"It is going to be tough, but you have to start somewhere, " said Ofoje. "We're really looking to next year."