Milwaukee Women's Soccer Announces 2012 Schedule
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (April 30, 2012) - Four NCAA Tournament teams, including Elite 8 qualifier Oklahoma State, highlight the 2012 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer schedule released by head coach Greg Henschel today.
The Panthers also take on South Carolina, Marquette and Illinois during a tough non-league schedule. Each team advanced in the NCAA Tournament last season, while OSU went 22-2-2 on the year and finished the season fifth in the nation.
"We are looking forward to the challenge of our upcoming 2012 schedule, which includes top-level competition before we start league play," Henschel said. "Four teams advanced in 2011 NCAA Tournament and we will face one in each of the first three weekends of the season. We are also excited three other major conference opponents from the Big Ten and Big XII in Wisconsin, Purdue and Iowa State. We just completed an excellent spring season that we feel has provided us a platform to move into the summer months and prepare for next fall"
South Carolina (16-7) comes to Milwaukee for the Panthers' season-opener Aug. 17 in the first game of the Milwaukee Cup. The weekend wraps up with St. Bonaventure that Sunday. The Bonnies finished 9-7-4 last season and took fifth in the 14-team Atlantic 10.
UWM's annual crosstown derby with Marquette follows Aug. 24 and will be played at Valley Fields this season. The Panthers and Golden Eagles met in a memorable match last season at Engelmann Stadium with MU coming away the 1-0 victor in double overtime in a match played in front of a school-record 2,212 fans and a national television crowd on Fox Soccer Channel.
After a home date with Miami (Ohio), a 9-8-1 squad last season out of the Mid-American Conference, the Panthers hit the road for the first two of three-straight Big Ten matchups. UWM plays at Illinois Sept. 2 and Purdue Sept. 7. The Illini went 17-5-2 a season ago and took second in the conference.
For the second-straight season, Engelmann Stadium will be the site of Milwaukee's annual match with Wisconsin. The Panthers topped a Badger team that won 10 games last season, 2-1 in overtime. A road match at Iowa State Sept. 16 is UWM's final tune-up before league play. Milwaukee defeated the Cyclones 2-0 in Minnesota last season.
A rematch of the 2011 Horizon League Championship match awaits UWM when league play starts Sept. 22. The Panthers will host Wright State, a team they defeated 5-1 last season to claim the tourney crown. The team then hits the road for matches at Detroit (Sept. 27), Youngstown State (Sept. 29) and Valparaiso (Oct. 3).
Milwaukee plays four of its final five regular season games at home, welcoming Butler (Oct. 6) and Loyola (Oct. 10) to Engelmann before heading to Green Bay to play the Phoenix Oct. 19. UWM's match with Oklahoma State follows Oct. 21 and the Panthers host Cleveland State in the regular season finale Oct. 26.
UWM is coming off its best season to date, going 19-3 and spending the majority of the season in the national rankings. Milwaukee won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in school history, while advancing to the second round of the tournament for the third time. The Panthers were ranked as high as No. 11 nationally and finished 23rd in the final poll of the season. Six starters from the 2011 team return in 2012, led by Horizon League Co-Defensive Player of the Year Jamie Forbes in goal and fellow all-league first-team selection Helen Steinhauser in the midfield.
"The 2011 team set the bar very high and we look to build on the Milwaukee Women's Soccer tradition of competing at the highest level," Henschel said. "This type of schedule is in part what drives us to work very hard throughout the year and we will work very hard to continue maintaining the top level schedule going forward. We're excited to see the stands full in support of the 2012 Milwaukee Women's Soccer team."