Men's Soccer Releases 2011 Fall Schedule
May 16, 2011
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University men's soccer team released its 2011 fall schedule Monday. Head coach Louis Bennett's squad will look to build upon their 2010 success, which was highlighted by an appearance in the BIG EAST Conference quarterfinals.
The 2011 slate features eight home matches, as well seven fixtures against teams that participated in last year's NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship, including one of four teams that advanced to the 2010 College Cup.
"When you look at the overall schedule, I am very happy, and the program is very happy and excited that we managed to put together something that is going to be exciting for the fans, but also productive for the program," said Bennett.
Marquette will kick-off the season with the annual Blue vs. Gold intra-squad match on Friday, Aug. 12. The squad will host their annual Fan Fest celebration in correlation with the Blue/Gold scrimmage. The festivities are set for 5 p.m. CT at Valley Fields.
The Golden Eagles will finish out their exhibition schedule with games against Loyola (Aug. 17) and Division II UW-Parkside (Aug. 20). Admission and parking are free for all pre-season matches and events.
Bennett's teams will travel to Chicago to square off with UIC for the 2011 campaign opener on Saturday, Aug. 27. MU will then participate in the UWM Tournament, hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Engelmann Field. Marquette will face Western Michigan in its opening match of the tourney on Sept. 2 and conclude the weekend when it takes on Western Illinois on Sept. 4.
MU will again travel across town to square off with Milwaukee in the annual Milwaukee Cup on Friday, Sept. 9. The Golden Eagles have captured the coveted trophy in three of the last four seasons. The local derby is considered to be one of the greatest rivalries in college soccer.
Marquette opens up play at Valley Fields against Wright State on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 2:05 p.m. The Raiders fell to MU last season, 2-0, at Valley Fields in a non-conference match.
The 2011 BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge has Marquette hosting Michigan State (Sept. 16) and traveling to Michigan (Sept. 18). This is the second consecutive year that MU has played Michigan and Michigan State in event. Last year, MU dropped a 1-0 decision at Michigan State last year and played Michigan, who advanced to the 2010 College Cup, to a 1-1 draw at The Valley.
"[The BIG EAST/ Big Ten Challenge] is a way for all the teams to get a great weekend of high profile soccer in," said Bennett. "I am happy to have it on the schedule. It puts our schedule over the top in terms of RPI and it mimics what we are going to face in the BIG EAST."
The squad will also face another Big Ten opponent on Sept. 28 when they travel to play in-state rival Wisconsin on Sept. 28.
The Golden Eagles travel to Syracuse, N.Y. on Sept. 24 for the first time in program history to take on the Orange for their 2011 BIG EAST opener. The first home BIG EAST Conference game for the Golden Eagles will be Saturday, Oct. 1, when Rutgers comes to Valley Fields.
Marquette's schedule features a three-game conference homestand in October when it hosts Notre Dame (Oct. 12), West Virginia (Oct. 15) and Georgetown (Oct. 19).
Coach Bennett believes that the homestand will play a pivotal role in the outcome of the Golden Eagle's season. "It will position us to be able to do some serious things at the end of the season and being at home for these games gives us an edge and a level of familiarity."
The Golden Eagles then hit the road for contests at Seton Hall (Oct. 22) and at Connecticut (Oct 26), before they return home to close out the regular season with a Senior Night matchup against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Postseason play is scheduled to begin Nov. 2. The BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship semi-finals and finals will once again be held at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., Nov. 12 and Nov. 14.
Call 414-288-GOMU (4669) for single or season tickets.
2011 FALL SCHEDULE
* - BIG EAST Conference opponent;