Milwaukee Women's Soccer Announces Challenging 2014 Schedule
April 24, 2014
MILWAUKEE - Five NCAA Tournament teams, including Elite 8-qualifier Boston College, highlight the 2014 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer schedule released by head coach Greg Henschel today.
The Panthers also take on South Carolina, Marquette, DePaul and Illinois State during a tough non-league schedule. Each team advanced to the NCAA Tournament a season ago, with Boston College, Marquette and South Carolina all finishing the season ranked in the top-20 in the nation.
"We are looking forward to continuing the tradition of playing a strong non-conference schedule," Henschel said. "We are excited to host our preseason exhibition matches with Drake and our Panther alumni. Our team puts a lot of work into the off-season and we look forward to testing our potential with this schedule."
"With the addition of Oakland in 2013 and now UIC adding women's soccer in 2014, the league continues to raise its depth and competition. We are looking forward to another competitive Horizon League season with great anticipation."
Milwaukee kicks off the season with a tournament 90 minutes away in Madison, Wis. The Panthers will matchup against Tennessee in the season-opener Aug. 22 for just the second-ever meeting between the two programs, with UWM claiming the only previous meeting, 3-0, back in 2000. Two days later, the Panthers will square off against Oregon for the first time in program history, also in Madison.
The following weekend it's off to Columbia, S.C. for another weekend tournament against two tough non-conference opponents. The first game of the weekend will pit the Panthers against the College of Charleston Aug. 29 before a Sunday afternoon contest against host South Carolina. The Gamecocks earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament a year ago and finished the season with a 17-3-2 record as the 15th ranked team in the nation.
Milwaukee kicks off the month of September by finally coming home, welcoming Boston College and DePaul. The Sept. 5 contest will mark the third-ever meeting between the two programs as the Eagles return a majority of their starters that made a deep run in last year's NCAA Tournament and finished the season ranked No. 19 in the nation. The Blue Demons then come to Engelmann Stadium Sept. 7 for the sixth meeting between the two teams and the third in the last four years.
A busy stretch in the schedule continues with a midweek game in the annual derby with crosstown rival Marquette set for Sept. 11 down at Valley Fields. The Panthers then make a quick trip south to Auburn, Ala., for a Sept. 14 matchup with the Tigers before another midweek contest against former Horizon League foe Loyola Sept. 18.
Another NCAA Tournament qualifier comes to town when Illinois State makes a trip to Engelmann in the middle of conference play Oct. 1. This will mark the first time the Red Birds will return to Milwaukee since they squared off with the Panthers for UWM's first ever home NCAA Tournament contest in 2011.
UWM starts up league play with the first-ever game against UIC, which will be competing in women's soccer for the first time in program history. That game will take place at Engelmann on Sept. 24. The Panthers also have league home games with Cleveland State (Oct. 4), Wright State (Oct. 11) and a rematch of the 2013 Horizon League Tournament Championship thriller as Oakland comes to campus on Oct. 18.
The Panther's first league road match comes with a Sept. 27 trip to Youngstown State. UWM also has road matches with Green Bay (Oct. 8), Valparaiso (Oct. 22) and the season finale at Detroit (Oct. 31).
UWM is coming off another outstanding season, winning the Horizon League regular season title for the 13th-consecutive season and also grabbing the Horizon League Tournament title and earning a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth-straight year, doing so in dramatic fashion. Nine starters return from last year's squad, led by Horizon League Player of the Year and Tournament MVP Kelly Lewers and fellow first-team all-league selections Krissy Dorre and Kelsey Holbert.