Tampa, FL - Head coach George Kiefer and the University of South Florida men’s soccer team is proud to unveil their 2009 schedule. USF is seeking its third-straight postseason appearance and its 14th berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulls are fresh off the program’s second ever appearance in the Elite Eight and will face steep competition from 2008 NCAA Tournament, three who advanced to the Sweet 16, in St. John’s, Notre Dame, Dartmouth, Louisville and Akron (exhibition).
“Once again I feel we have put together an outstanding schedule that features numerous teams with NCAA Tournament experience,” Kiefer said. “The home conference schedule will be great for our fans and we look forward to an exciting season at the USF Soccer Stadium.”
USF opens the 2009 campaign with a duo of exhibition games. The Bulls will kick things off by hosting the University of Tampa on Aug. 18 in the annual edition of the Rowdies’ Cup. The Bulls finish exhibition play on the road at Akron on Aug, 21.
USF, who went 8-0-2 at home last season, will host nine regular season games at the USF Soccer Stadium.
USF opens the regular season with in state foes UCF on Sept. 1 in Tampa and then travels to Ft. Myers to face the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 4. The Bulls earned their 20th all-time win over the Knights in 2008 and own a 20-3-4 mark in the series. USF will meet FGCU for the first time in school history.
Tilts with Valparaiso (Sept. 8), Virginia Tech (Sept. 11), FAU (Oct. 14) and 2008 Sweet 16 participant Dartmouth (Oct. 21) round out the rest of the Bulls’ non-conference slate. This will be the first all-time meeting with Valparaiso and Dartmouth, and the fourth with Virginia Tech.
In 2008, the Bulls went 7-3-1 in conference play, and won three games in the BIG EAST Championships en route to their first BIG EAST Tournament title.
Kiefer and the men’s soccer team will begin the BIG EAST Conference portion of their schedule with a two-game homestand against Marquette (Sept. 18) and Notre Dame (Sept. 20). The Fighting Irish advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2008.
Three of the Bulls five losses in 2008 came against Cincinnati, St. John’s and DePaul on the road. USF will have a chance to avenge those losses when the Bearcats (Oct. 3), Red Storm (Oct. 10) and Blue Demons (Oct. 28) come to Tampa during the upcoming season.
The Bulls defeated St. John’s in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament Final, 1-0, in overtime at the USF Soccer Stadium.
The regular season schedule concludes on Oct. 31in Piscataway, N.J. against Rutgers.
The first round of BIG EAST Conference Tournament is scheduled to begin on November 4. The location of the BIG EAST Conference championship will be played at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium on the campus of West Virginia University, Nov. 13 & 15.