After announcements for volleyball and men's soccer, we now have the women's soccer schedule to round out the fall sports, and hoo boy, is this one a doozy.
Marquette is your reigning defending Big East tournament champion after winning the American Division for the fourth consecutive season last year. This year, the Big East is doing away with the divisional format, and like the men, the women's teams will play a nine game schedule with one game against each of their conference rivals. Also like the men, Marquette gets the short end of the stick and will have to play five road matches against only four home conference games. Here's the good news: Marquette gets the rematch of the 2012 Big East Championship game against Georgetown at home on October 13. Here's the REALLY good news: Marquette will be hosting the semifinals and finals of the Big East tournament at Valley Fields.
That's right, things are set up perfectly for Marquette to defend their Big East tournament title AT HOME on November 10.
With Marquette coming off a heartbreaking loss to BYU on penalty kicks in the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA tournament, head coach Markus Roeders is not shying away from getting the Golden Eagles ready for the postseason this year. There are eight 2012 NCAA tournament teams on the schedule, nine if you count the exhibition match against Wisconsin. Two of the eight matches are true road contests, one will be at Engelmann Field vs UWM, and two more will be at a completely neutral site. It will be an excellent test for a veteran Golden Eagles side with eight seniors.
MU will open the season on the road in the Pacific Northwest and with one of those NCAA tournament teams, as they face Portland on August 23. They'll be participating in the Notre Dame adidas Invitational on August 30 and September 1, although they won't play the Irish. Instead, Marquette will face 2012 Elite Eight participant UCLA as well as Oakland, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year. The home opener comes on September 6, as Marquette hosts their own event, the Marquette Invitational. MU plays St. Mary's (CA) on Friday before hosting a 2012 NCAA tournament team on Sunday, September 8, in Colorado College. The following weekend features two more NCAA tournament teams, with a home match against Colgate and a roadie against Illinois State, which was last seen falling 3-0 to MU in the 2012 first round.
MU kicks off the Big East section of the schedule on September 26 in Omaha, as they play Creighton for the first time as a member of the Big East. The home conference opener comes on October 3 as they host St. John's. On November 2, the women's team will play Butler in the front end of a men's and women's soccer Senior Night doubleheader with the men's game against Seton Hall.
The Big East tournament will feature the top six teams in the table at the end of the regular season. That setup likely means that the top two teams will get a bye to the semifinals. Those semifinal matches will take place down in the Valley on Friday, November 8, followed by the championship match on Sunday, November 10.
I didn't even get around to mentioning the home game against the dastardly Cardinals of Louisville, so go check out the full schedule and print yourself a copy.