EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – After an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2016, SIUE women's soccer revealed its 2017 schedule Friday.
The defending Ohio Valley Conference tournament champions will play a 19-game schedule which features nine home games at Korte Stadium.
"We are all excited about our schedule this season," 10th-year Head Coach Derek Burton said. "Having a healthy number of home games is particularly gratifying and this team is really looking forward to playing in front of Cougar Nation at Korte Stadium."
The Cougars will open the slate with a pair of preseason games. SIUE will travel to Evansville Aug. 9 before returning home for a 1 p.m. matchup with IUPUI Aug. 12 in the final tune-up before the regular season.
The regular season begins with tournament play at the Hoosier Challenge Cup, hosted by Indiana. SIUE will play Clemson (Aug. 18) to open the tournament. Clemson advanced to the third round of last season's Women's College Cup. The Cougars will then take on Cal Poly (Aug. 20).
"The schedule is a great blend of our traditional regional non-conference opponents with a couple out-of-region teams," Burton added. "They will all be great tests for us in the first half of this season. Starting off the regular against Clemson and Cal Poly is a tremendous challenge which will be a thrill for us all and an exciting kick off to the fall season. It will certainly be a great event at Indiana right out of the gate.
The regular season home opener is scheduled for Aug. 24 when Western Illinois comes to Korte Stadium for a 7 p.m. match. The Cougars also will play host to Saint Louis (Aug. 31), Colorado State (Sep. 8) and Missouri State (Sep. 10) in nonconference play.
SIUE's only other road game in nonconference play is a game at UIC (Sep. 3).
The OVC schedule kicks off with a home game against Belmont (Sep. 15). The Cougars also will play OVC home games with Morehead State (Sep. 29), Eastern Kentucky (Oct. 1), Tennessee Tech (Oct. 6) and Jacksonville State (Oct. 8).
Road matches in the OVC include games at Eastern Illinois (Sep. 17), Austin Peay (Sep. 22), UT Martin (Oct. 13), Southeast Missouri (Oct. 15) and Murray State (Oct. 22).
"The OVC schedule will, of course, be a gauntlet as it is every year," Burton said. "The conference is truly competitive, with outstanding coaches and players all over. I expect it to be a real battle again this fall."
The OVC Tournament features an expanded eight-team field for the first time in 2017. First and second round games will be played at on-campus sites Oct. 27 and 29, while the semifinals and finals will be played at the No. 1 seed Nov. 3 and 5.