INDIANAPOLIS – Co-Head Coaches Tari St. John and Rob Alman have unveiled the 2014 women's soccer schedule which features nine home games and six matches against teams that reached last year's NCAA Tournament.
Fresh off a fifth-place finish in their inaugural BIG EAST season, the Bulldogs will look to improve on their 11-7-2 overall record from a year ago which included a 4-5-0 mark against conference foes.
The 2014 season will begin with a lengthy road trip that will have Butler playing as the visitors in their first five matches. The season opener will be played at Ohio on August 22nd against the Bobcats and the Bulldogs will remain in the border state that weekend to face Miami (OH) on Sunday the 24th.
The RedHawks were one of the best teams in the Mid-American Conference a year ago with an 11-6-4 record that included a 7-1-3 mark in conference action. Despite putting together a successful regular season, Miami (OH) was eliminated in the MAC semifinals by Ball State.
A pair of talented Big Ten opponents will mark the third and fourth road games of the year for Butler as the Bulldogs challenge themselves against two teams that reached the NCAA tournament during the 2013 season. The Cornhuskers were the top team in the Big Ten standings at the end of the regular season with a 15-3-1 overall record which included a 10-1-0 mark against Big Ten foes. Nebraska not only wrapped up the regular season championship and the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament, but they were able to put the finishing touches on the conference season by holding off No. 7 Iowa to capture the Big Ten Tournament crown.
Nebraska bowed out of the NCAA Tournament in round two with a 4-1 setback to Boston College after defeating Southeastern La. 4-0 in the opening round. Iowa, who narrowly made the NCAA field due to a strong run in the Big Ten Tournament, was knocked out in the first round with a 4-1 loss to Notre Dame.
One week after traveling to face two Big Ten opponents, Butler will stay near home to rattle off four-straight games against teams based out of Indiana. The first opponent out of the Hoosier State on the BU schedule will be Evansville. The Purple aces will host a 5 p.m. match on Friday Sept. 5. That game will signal the end of the five-match, season opening road stretch.
Bulldog fans will need to circle Sept. 7 on their calendars this year as the team hosts IPFW in the 2014 home opener on Sunday at 1 p.m. The month of September will be instrumental to the team's overall success with Butler hosting six of their nine matches during the month at the Butler Bowl.
In-state rivals Indiana State and IUPUI will continue the home stand as they visit on Sept. 11 and 14. A short trip to Northern Kentucky on Sept. 17 will break up the home matches, but the Bulldogs return home to host Bowling Green on Sept. 19 to close the non-conference schedule.
BIG EAST action will begin on Sept. 25 this year with a home match vs. the Villanova Wildcats. Butler will stay in Indianapolis that weekend with yet another home game vs. Seton Hall on Sunday, Sept. 28.
BIG EAST competition stiffens the following weekend to start the month of October as Butler faces two of the four conference members that reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Bulldogs will face Georgetown on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 3:00 p.m. and end the weekend with a 1 p.m. match on Oct. 5 at St. John's.
Week two of the BIG EAST season will give Butler a good indication of where they stand in conference play. The Hoyas are coming off a successful season where they defeated La Salle 2-0 to advance in the NCAA Tournament. They were ultimately defeated by Virginia in the following match while St. John's defeated UCF 3-1 before falling to Arkansas. With each opponent clinching a tournament win in the postseason, Georgetown ended the year ranked No. 20 nationally, while the Red Storm received votes.
The midway point of the BIG EAST schedule will feature Butler traveling to Providence for a match against the Friars on Sunday, Oct. 12. The three-game road trip will end shortly after with the Bulldogs returning to the Butler Bowl on Thursday, Oct. 16 to host DePaul.
The Blue Demons were yet another quality team from the BIG EAST to make the NCAA Tournament a year ago, although they fell to Indiana 1-0 in the first round. The 7 p.m. match against DePaul under the lights at the Butler Bowl will be the 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness game. More details about the special day will be released closer to the date.
The end of October will feature Butler hosting two of their last three games of the season with Xavier, Creighton, and Marquette left on the schedule. The final three regular season matches of the year could be pivotal in terms of BIG EAST Tournament seeding with only the top six teams qualifying. No. 3 faces No. 6 and No. 4 takes on No. 5 as the top two seeds receive first round byes.
Xavier will mark the final road test of the season for Butler as the Bulldogs travel to Cincinnati on Sunday Oct. 19 to face the Musketeers. The final two games of the season will be played at the Butler Bowl with BU hosting Creighton on Saturday, Oct. 25 followed by the regular season finale vs. Marquette on Friday, Oct. 31.
The night game vs. Creighton will serve as Senior Day and Club Day for the Bulldogs. Butler will then shift their focus to Marquette in the finale in attempt to upset the 2013 regular season and BIG EAST Tournament champions.
Postseason competition will run from Nov. 4-9. Quarterfinals are slated for Nov. 4 with the semifinals to follow on Nov. 7. A conference champion will then be crowned on Sunday, Nov. 9.
Fans that are interested in attending multiple games are encouraged to review the newly developed Fall Olympic Sports Pass which will be available this season allowing the Bulldog faithful to attend women's soccer, men's soccer and volleyball games for one low rate. For contact information and additional details on the pass please Click Here.
IPFW – Sept. 7
Indiana State – Sept. 11
IUPUI – Sept. 14
Bowling Green – Sept. 19
*Villanova – Sept. 25
*Seton Hall – Sept. 28
*DePaul – Oct. 16
*Creighton – Oct. 25
*Marquette – Oct. 31
Ohio – Aug. 22
Miami (OH) – Aug. 24
Nebraska – Aug. 29
Iowa – Sept. 1
Evansville – Sept. 5
Northern Kentucky – Sept. 17
*Georgetown – Oct. 2
*St. John's – Oct. 5
*Providence – Oct. 12
*Xavier – Oct. 19
* - BIG EAST Opponents
All game times are subject to change
Blue / White Scrimmage is Saturday, Aug. 9 at 4 p.m.
Exhibition Match at Eastern Michigan is Saturday, Aug. 16 at 4 p.m.