Women's Soccer Unveils 2011 Schedule
May 26, 2011
MILWAUKEE - Seven teams that competed in the 2010 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship highlight the Marquette University women's soccer 2011 schedule, announced on Thursday by head coach Markus Roeders.
Marquette will play four of those NCAA tournament teams at Valley Fields, including 2010 NCAA Champion Notre Dame.
"Our team is excited to face another tough slate of games in 2011," said Roeders. "We are playing a great mix of teams from a variety of leagues in our non-conference slate, which will help us get ready for BIG EAST play. We might be reaching for the stars to go undefeated again this year in league play as it was such a tough and unique feat in 2010. We better be prepared for an even larger target on our back during league competition, because no one will lack motivation when playing us."
Marquette will travel to Madison, Wis. for its lone exhibition match of the season on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. The date with the Badgers marks the fourth consecutive year the teams will face off in exhibition play.
Following the conclusion of its preseason training camp, Marquette will play its first four games of the season at Valley Fields. The Golden Eagles open the season against Western Michigan on Friday, Aug. 19 and will host Northwestern on Aug. 21 to cap the opening weekend.
Rounding out the four-game home stretch are visits by Saint Louis and NCAA tournament participant Long Beach State for the 12th Annual MKE Cup on Aug. 26-28.
"Both Western Michigan and Northwestern are tough, athletic and gritty, which will give us a chance to test ourselves right away. Having Saint Louis, and old foe from our Conference USA days, and Long Beach State, a program that has recently dominated the Big West Conference, in for the MKE Cup provides a tough weekend of soccer as the Marquette community returns to campus prior to the start of school."
In its first road match of the season, Marquette will travel to Tallahassee, Fla., on Friday, Sept. 2 to take on Florida State, the same team that ended MU's NCAA Championship run in the Sweet 16.
"The schedule has been set for a while and for us to return to Florida State this fall is pure coincidence since we played there in the NCAA Sweet 16 last year. Florida State will be among the favorites not just in the ACC but also in competing for a national championship."
The Golden Eagles return to Valley Fields to host North Dakota on Sunday, Sept. 4 before closing out the non-conference portion of their schedule at NCAA tournament participant and cross-town foe Milwaukee (Sept. 8) and at Indiana (Sept. 11).
Marquette begins its BIG EAST American Division title defense at Valley Fields against Pittsburgh on Thursday, Sept. 15 before playing at BIG EAST tournament champion West Virginia in what will be a key early division contest on Sept. 18.
The Golden Eagles return to Valley Fields for back-to-back home matches against DePaul and NCAA Champion Notre Dame, on Friday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 25, respectively.
"The home opener against Pittsburgh and terrific home matches against DePaul, Notre Dame, Providence, UConn and South Florida are exciting to look forward to. This year's BIG EAST schedule favors us in home matches with four of seven American Division matches being at Valley Fields. Definitely, playing Notre Dame, the defending 2010 College Cup Champion at home is a marquee game."
Another home weekend of matches against Providence (Oct. 7) and NCAA tournament participant Connecticut (Oct. 9) is sandwiched between road weekends at Louisville (Sept. 30) and Cincinnati (Oct. 2), and at St. John's (Oct. 14) and at Syracuse (Oct. 16).
Senior Night festivities will mark the close of the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Valley Fields against USF. The careers of seniors Natalie Kulla, Kerry McBride, Lindsey Page and Rachael Sloan will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony. The Bulls advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship in 2010.
"Finishing the regular season at home on Senior Night will be very special for Natalie, Kerry, Rachael and Lindse. We will count on them heavily this fall and hope to have one more fun ride in 2011. They have meant so much to our program helping to shape our successes over the past few years, so sending them off on October 22 will be a highlight."
The BIG EAST Championship kicks off on Oct. 27 with first round play, followed by quarterfinal action on Sunday, Oct. 30. West Virginia will play host to the semifinals and final at Dick Dlesk Stadium Nov. 4-6.
The Golden Eagles welcome back 21 letter winners and seven starters from a season ago that captured MU's second straight BIG EAST American Division Championship, with an unblemished conference record, and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Championship.
Season tickets for the 2011 women's and men's soccer seasons are available now for just $30 (adults) and $15 (youth 18 and younger) by calling the Marquette ticket office at 414-288-4668.