June 4, 2008
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IOWA CITY, IA – The 2008 schedule has been released for the University of Iowa soccer team, the announcement coming Wednesday from Head Coach Ron Rainey.
In addition to playing 11 regular season matches at the UI Soccer Complex, Iowa will host the Big Ten Conference Tournament for the first time, Nov. 6-9.
“Our schedule will be one that challenges our young team” the third-year coach said. “We have some quality non-conference opponents that will prepare us for the Big Ten season and we are looking forward to having 11 home games.”
The Hawkeyes open the season with three consecutive home matches: Drake (Aug. 23), Western Illinois (Aug. 29) and South Dakota State (Sept. 1). Iowa will then travel to California to participate in the Pepperdine Tournament in Malibu, taking on Pepperdine (Sept. 5) and San Diego (Sept. 7).
Rainey believes the month of September will be a good test for his team heading in to Big Ten play. After visiting Northern Iowa on Sept. 12, the Hawkeyes host Creighton on Sept. 14 before heading on the road for four straight matches. Rematches with Big 12 Conference foes Missouri (Sept. 19) and Iowa State (Sept. 21) are set, with points in the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series on the line against the Cyclones. Last season, the Hawkeyes fell to nationally-ranked Missouri, 2-0, and played to a scoreless draw with Iowa State.
The Hawkeyes also find themselves on the road for the beginning of Big Ten play, heading to Michigan (Sept. 26) and Michigan State (Sept. 28). From there, seven of the last nine matches are at the UI Soccer Complex, including match-ups with Indiana (Oct. 3), North Dakota State (Oct. 5), Illinois (Oct. 10) and Purdue (Oct. 12).
Iowa will head to Ohio State (Oct. 17) and defending conference champion Penn State (Oct. 19) before finishing the season at home with matches against Northwestern (Oct. 24), Wisconsin (Oct. 26) and Minnesota (Oct. 31).
After an appearance in the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2001 last season, the Hawkeyes will be one of eight teams competing in the conference’s annual postseason tournament this year.
“We are extremely excited to host the Big Ten Tournament,” Rainey said. “It will be an experience our student athletes will never forget and an awesome chance for our university to host some of the best soccer teams in the country.”
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