ISU Soccer Releases 2011 Schedule
May 3, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State soccer team will play four 2010 NCAA Tournament qualifying teams in 2011, with three being on their home pitch at Adelaide Street Field, as announced by head coach Drew Roff Tuesday afternoon. The 17-game schedule includes nine home dates, including a pair against Big Ten Conference opponents Minnesota and Northwestern.
Illinois State will open the season with a pair of home games against Southeast Missouri State and Bowling Green, August 19 and 21, respectively. The Redbirds will then travel to Boston, Mass., for a pair of games at Boston University and Sacred Heart, August 26 and 28, respectively.
"We have put together an outstanding schedule for next fall. I am really excited about opening up the regular season with a home weekend against two quality teams in SEMO and Bowling Green," Roff said. "The trip out east to play Boston and Sacred Heart will really give us a chance to come together and be tested on the road. BU was nationally ranked at the end of last season, so playing them at their place will really be an exciting challenge for us."
ISU will follow up the trip to Boston with a pair of games against in-state rivals Northern Illinois and DePaul. The Redbirds will host the Huskies September 2, before traveling to Chicago to take on Blue Demons September 4. A pair of Big Ten opponents in Minnesota and Northwestern will make the trip to Adelaide Street Field in early September, as Illinois State will host the Golden Gophers September 9 and the Wildcats September 11.
"We are also very excited to host two quality Big Ten teams in Minnesota and Northwestern," Roff said. "That will certainly be a great weekend of soccer here at ISU and those are the kind of matches that really prepare you for conference play."
Illinois State will take to the road again September 16 and September 18 for a pair of games at Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan, before beginning Missouri Valley Conference play September 25 with a home match against Drake.
"The trip up to Michigan to play Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan will be our final weekend before conference play and will be key in our preparation," Roff added. "We know how competitive teams from the Mid-American Conference are and it will be a great opportunity to play on the road and face similar challenges to what we will see in the Valley. We also have a non-conference game scheduled with Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Normal in late October during our conference season. They are another NCAA tournament team from 2010 and that will be another quality match for us played at Adelaide Street Field."
During their MVC slate, the Redbirds will host Drake (Sept. 25), Evansville (Oct. 9) and Creighton (Oct. 27) and will have road games at Missouri State (Sept. 30), Northern Iowa (Oct. 4) and Indiana State (Oct. 14).
"The goal of having such a difficult non-conference schedule is to prepare us for conference play. By the time we begin play in the Valley, we will have been tested at home and on the road, against top notch competition and that experience will be very beneficial," Roff said. "In my four years here at ISU, the level of play in the conference has steadily improved and with only six conference games, every game means so much. Every year we strive to finish at the top of the league and we are looking forward to the great challenges we will face in 2011."
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