Women's Soccer Announces 2015 Schedule
June 5, 2015
MILWAUKEE -- Marquette University women's soccer head coach Markus Roeders has announced the 2015 schedule for the Golden Eagles, which features 10 contests at Valley Fields and an early season stretch in which the squad will face four 2014 NCAA tournament participants in a span of five games.
"It certainly is part of our history and tradition to play a nationally challenging schedule," Roeders said. "This year won't be any different and our team is excited about playing some great matches at Valley Fields and embracing difficult road trips. We continue to play a major role at the national stage and that demands tough games; we have put that type of slate together.
The Golden Eagles kickoff the campaign with their annual exhibition matchup with in-state rival Wisconsin on Thursday, Aug. 13 in Madison, before returning to Valley Fields for the home opener on Friday, Aug. 21 against Utah at 7 p.m.
"The Wisconsin match is the perfect test in preseason. We can test ourselves against a great opponent and see where we stand without having to travel far. The extra incentive of playing a rival brings out the best in both teams for an exhibition match," said Roeders.
Following a Sunday, Aug. 23 trip to face Michigan, Marquette will play host to Boston University and Portland at Valley Fields on Friday, Aug. 28 and Sunday, Aug. 30. The squad will open the weekend versus Portland, and finish up with BU, the 2014 Patriot League champion.
Marquette welcomes Minnesota to the Valley over Labor Day weekend with a 7 p.m. Friday showdown with the Golden Gophers as the third game in a season-high five-match homestand.
The Marquette Invitational begins on Friday, Sept. 11 with a field that includes Loyola Chicago, Northern Arizona and South Dakota State. MU will play the nightcap on Friday against Northern Arizona, and return to Valley Fields on Sunday, Sept. 13 to host South Dakota State. Both NAU and SDSU participated in the 2014 NCAA tournament as champions of the Big Sky and Summit League, respectively.
"The non-conference portion will definitely prepare us for the Big East slate," Roeders said. "Playing six of seven games at home early on is an unusual luxury and should be great for the fans. They will definitely be treated to some great soccer versus Utah, Portland, Boston U., Minnesota and last year's NCAA qualifiers in Northern Arizona plus South Dakota State."
After the Marquette Invitational, the Golden Eagles will hit the road for two contests against South Alabama (Sept. 17) and LSU (Sept. 20) before coming back to Wisconsin to take on Milwaukee at Engelmann Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
"It will be a difficult road swing with South Alabama, who had a magnificent year last fall, and a growing veteran squad of LSU who battled us closely at home in 2014," Roeders said. "Heading over to Milwaukee and continuing our long standing rivalry verus them is a perfect set-up as we go into BIG EAST play."
MU opens BIG EAST Conference play at home against Creighton on Sunday, Sept. 27, before heading to the East Coast to take on Seton Hall (Oct. 1) and St. John's (Oct. 4).
"The balance amongst the league teams is stronger than ever but our goal remains the same and that is to finish among the top and compete for championships," Roeders said. "Playing last year's top three teams on the road is an added challenge but to finish near or at the top requires winning at home and away. Our ladies will definitely be prepared by the time we get to that journey of the season."
Three of the next four contests will be played at Valley Fields against Xavier (Oct. 8), Providence (Oct. 11) and Villanova (Oct. 22), with one road contest against Georgetown on Sunday, Oct. 18.
The Golden Eagles end the regular season at Butler on Sunday, Oct. 25 and will play the regular season finale at defending BIG EAST champion, DePaul, on Friday, Oct. 30 in Chicago.
The 2015 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Championship begins with quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at campus sites of higher seeded teams, while the semifinals and championship game will take place Nov. 6 and 8, respectively, in Omaha, Nebraska at Morrison Stadium.
The Golden Eagles look to make their return to the NCAA tournament for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons with seven returning starters from a 2014 squad that went 10-8-3 overall.
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