Aug. 11, 2009
EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's soccer coach Derek Burton is extremely excited about this year's schedule which features several strong programs visiting Korte Stadium.
"We are playing quality, meaningful games at home this season. We didn't get to do that last year," said Burton. Due to their first year of transition to NCAA Division I status, the Cougars spent better than a majority of their time traveling last season. However, the 2009 schedule will witness the Cougars playing in front of their home fans more frequently.
SIUE's 2009 home schedule begins Saturday at 3 p.m. against Southern Indiana. That will be an early test for the Cougars, which hold their first practice Wednesday. SIUE also plays host to Arkansas State on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 5 p.m. and Western Illinois on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 1 p.m., both in exhibition play.
The regular-season slate opens on the road at future Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) opponent Eastern Kentucky (Aug. 28).
The Cougars then travel to Murray, Ky., for a weekend tournament at Murray State. SIUE faces Georgia State on Sept. 4 and hosts Murray State, also a future OVC opponent, on Sept. 6.
The regular season home schedule at Korte Stadium begins Sept. 11 against Northern Illinois. The rest of the home schedule includes Indiana State (Sept. 17), IUPU-Ft. Wayne (Sept. 27), Drake (Oct. 11), Missouri State (Oct. 25) and Southeast Missouri State (Oct. 30).
Burton said he set up a schedule that will enable his coaching staff to focus on making the program better over the long term.
"Being able to play at home balances out the experience for the student-athletes," said Burton. The Cougar coach said there is something to be said about playing more games in front of the home fans and sleeping at home the night before a game.
SIUE's road schedule includes contests at Ball State (Sept. 13), UT Martin (Sept. 20), Illinois State (Oct. 7), Austin Peay (Oct. 16) and Missouri-St. Louis (Oct. 20).