LSU SOCCER PROGRAM ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR 2011 FALL CAMPAIGN
BATON ROUGE – As summer
school opens and members of the LSU soccer program return to campus to
continue their preparation for the 2011 fall season, the Tigers were
informed on Friday of the 20 teams they will take on in the fall as
they compete for an SEC title and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers will battle the likes of five programs that earned a berth
into the 2011 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament last fall. The team
is set to square off against nine non-conference opponents before going
up against a challenging 11-game league slate that will determine the
Southeastern Conference champion.
LSU wrapped up a 2010 campaign last fall with an 8-8-5 overall record
and 4-4-3 mark in SEC play prior to advancing to the SEC Tournament
semifinal for the fourth-straight season.
“We’ve put together a schedule this year that will not only
prepare our team for SEC and postseason play, but we feel like
it’s a schedule that our fans are really going to enjoy as
well,” said LSU head coach Brian Lee. “We’re looking
forward to the opportunity to compete in our newly-renovated stadium
this year, and we know our fans are going to turn out in big numbers to
support this program like they always have.”
Highlighting LSU’s non-conference slate is a road match against
the Memphis Tigers in its season opener on Friday, Aug. 19, as the
sides collide at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
Memphis is a perennial NCAA Tournament participant as it is fresh off a
2010 season in which it claimed a fourth-straight Conference USA
Tournament championship after earning a runner-up team finish for the
final CUSA team standings. Memphis was eliminated from the postseason
by Oregon State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament while
posting a 15-4-3 mark for the season.
The Tigers will actually play its first four non-conference games of
the season on the road when they head to Lafayette on Aug. 21 to face
in-state rival Louisiana-Lafayette, Raleigh, N.C., on Aug. 29 to square
off against NC State and Houston on Sept. 2 to take on Rice before
returning home to Baton Rouge.
LSU fans are sure to enjoy a nine-game homestand that spans 28 days in
the middle of the 2011 campaign which kicks off Sept. 5 against last
year’s Southland Conference runner-up Stephen F. Austin.
The Tigers will actually christen the newly-renovated LSU Soccer
Complex against Stephen F. Austin, as the match is set for a Labor Day
kickoff at 6 p.m. CDT.
LSU then welcome the Oregon Ducks (Sept. 9), Houston Cougars (Sept. 11)
and McNeese State Cowgirls (Sept. 16) to Baton Rouge before wrapping up
its non-conference schedule on Sept. 19 at the LSU Soccer Complex
against 2010 NCAA Tournament qualifier Oklahoma. After finishing as the
Big 12 Tournament runners-up, the Sooners advanced to the first round
of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2011 SEC schedule opens with a weekend derby against Mississippi
rivals as the Tigers welcome the Ole Miss Rebels (Sept. 23) and
Mississippi State Bulldogs (Sept. 25) to Baton Rouge. They then
conclude their nine-game homestand with matches against Tennessee on
Sept. 30 and Georgia on Oct. 2.
The Tigers will wrap up their home schedule Oct. 20 with perhaps their
most anticipated home match this fall against perennial NCAA Tournament
veteran and SEC championship contender South Carolina.
The Gamecocks came up just short in their bid to win the SEC team title
in 2010 after wrapping up league runner-up honors with an 8-2-1
conference record. After falling to Florida in the SEC Tournament
final, South Carolina then advanced to the second round of the NCAA
Tournament, where it fell to Virginia. At the end of the 2010 season,
the Gamecocks finished with a 15-6-4 overall record while receiving a
No. 24 national ranking in the final Top 25 poll release by the
National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The Tigers will face their toughest road test of the 2011 season when
they travel to Gainesville, Fla., for a match against the five-time
defending SEC champion Florida Gators on Oct. 23. Florida posted an
overall record of 19-2-3 a season ago en route to a berth into the NCAA
Other SEC road matches include Vanderbilt (Oct. 7), Kentucky (Oct. 9),
Auburn (Oct. 14), Alabama (Oct. 16) and Arkansas (Oct. 28) in
LSU’s regular season finale before postseason play.
LSU’s first order of business during SEC play will be earning a
favorable seed in the 2011 SEC Women’s Soccer Tournament to be
held Nov. 2-6 at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala.
The Tigers are one of just two SEC programs to advance to the semifinal
round of the SEC Tournament at each of the last four events following
its performance in its 2010 season finale. This is the seventh straight
season in which Orange Beach will play host to the SEC Tournament, as
LSU competes for a first tourney title in program history. The Tigers
appeared in their first SEC Tournament final during the 2009 season.