After a highly successful run in the fall of 2011, we're proud to bring you the return of the Weekend Preview for the fall of 2012. Most of the men's soccer, women's soccer and volleyball matches fall on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so it's easiest to just bring you a quick look at all of the weekend's action all at once.
We start this year's Weekend Previews off with a pair of women's soccer matches, with both of them coming at Valley Fields. Marquette starts the season ranked #16th in the country in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll and #14 in the Soccer America poll. Hit the jump, and we'll get into MU's first two chances to improve on those rankings.
First up on Friday night in the Valley is St. Bonaventure at 7:30pm. It's Wisconsin Youth Soccer Night, with 2-for-1 admission for youth wearing their team jersey, and the concession stand will feature $1 root beer floats. The match will be the first time meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Bonnies. Sophomore Sofie Schunk will make her first career start in net for Marquette after making two appearances in 2011. Schunk played nearly 75 minutes in those two matches and did not allow a goal.
The Bonnies finished last season with a record of 9-7-4, and were one of just three Atlantic 10 teams to make the conference tournament for the fourth consecutive season. They've been picked to finish seventh in the 16 team A-10, which is unsurprising when you consider that they lost eight seniors and return just 39% of their scoring from a year ago. Sophomore Molly Curry is their returning leading scorer with 4 goals in 2011. Junior keeper Megan Junker had a goals against average of 1.05 and a save percentage of .791 a year ago while posting five shutouts, just one short of the single season St. Bonaventure record.
MU follows up the Friday night season opener by welcoming #4/#6 Florida State to Valley Fields at 1pm on Sunday. Actually, "welcome" might not be the right word, even if hot dogs, sodas & chips are only $1 at the concession stands. The Golden Eagles have fallen to the Seminoles each of the last two seasons, both times in Tallahassee. 2010's loss was by the score of 3-0 in the NCAA tournament. That trip to FSU apparently led to the agreement on a home and home series which started out last September in Florida, where Marquette got on the scoreboard, but allowed the same number of goals and fell 3-1.
After winning the ACC tournament and making it as far as the 2011 NCAA College Cup semifinals in 2011, the Seminoles are picked to finish third in the ACC this season, meaning Marquette will play three of the expected four best teams in the ACC this season. FSU returns five of the seven double digit scorers from their 2011 squad, including all time leading scorer Tiffany McCarty, and 72% of their scoring overall. McCarty and teammate Ines Jaurenta joined Marquette's Maegan Kelly on the preseason watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded annually to the best player in college soccer. Just as Marquette will be without junior Vanessa Legault-Cordisco, who is with Team Canada, FSU will be without junior defender Kasey Kallman, as she joins Team USA for the U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. Kallman played every minute of every game last year for the Seminoles.