Women's Soccer Releases 2012 Schedule
BUFFALO, NY - Fresh off the largest season-to-season turnaround in not just program history, but among all Division I teams, the UB women's soccer team released its 2012 schedule Tuesday afternoon. The non-conference schedule features rematches with five teams and new rivalries with three other schools.
"This year's schedule continues to challenge the team as we try to take a step forward from successful 2011 season and prepare for a difficult 2012 Mid-American Conference campaign," said head coach Michael Thomas.
The regular season will begin with a pair of home games, starting with a game at UB Stadium against Colgate at 7 pm on Aug. 17. Then the following Thursday, the Bulls face Big Four rival Canisius in what should be a physical battle. Last season, Buffalo won 1-0 in double overtime against the Golden Griffins.
After the pair of home contests, the Bulls will hit the road for three road matches. First up will be St. Bonaventure (Aug. 26), then Youngstown State (Aug. 28) and finally Bucknell (Aug. 31). The game against the Penguins of Youngstown State will be the first meeting of the two teams since 1996, when the Bulls won 6-0.
As September rolls around, UB will play back at home against Niagara on Sept. 2 and then take a 12-day break before playing two games in the Niagara Tournament. Hosted by the Purple Eagles, the tournament (Sept. 14-16) will pit the Bulls against Robert Morris and St. Francis (PA). The tournament will also mark the close of the non-conference schedule.
With the weekend MAC schedule getting underway, Buffalo starts out on the road against Ball State on Sept. 21 and at Miami (OH) on Sept. 23. The team will then play defending MAC champions Toledo at home Friday, Sept. 28 and follow that up at home against Northern Illinois on the 30th.
The team will then embark on a critical stretch of three straight East Division road games, facing Kent State (Oct. ), Ohio (Oct. 7), and Bowling Green (Oct. 12) all in hostile territory. To cap that four-game road swing, UB will face perennial power Central Michigan Oct. 14.
Hitting the home stretch, Buffalo will end the regular season with three home games in a row. It will start by welcoming in Eastern Michigan Oct. 19 and Western Michigan Oct. 21, before ending the regular season against East rival Akron on Oct. 25.
After making the MAC tournament for the first time since 2003 last season, the Bulls will hope to build on the momentum swing brought on by a talented core. Buffalo returns 15 players who played in 18 or more games in 2011, and also welcome back five players who missed major time due to injury.