May 31, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The LMU women's soccer season will kick off the 2012 season under first-year head coach Michelle Myers with a three-match homestand, will feature 11 total home matches and six opponents who appeared in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
"In putting together this schedule we were trying to find that right balance of strong competition while also allowing our players to gain confidence and momentum as we hit conference play," said Myers. "With a conference like the WCC there are no easy games. Every game means something and every game is a battle. We tried to schedule non-conference opponents who will prepare us for that part of our season."
The Lions open play at Sullivan Field on Aug. 11, hosting Cal State Northridge in an exhibition match. The three-match homestand continues the following weekend with two more Big West schools - Cal Poly (Aug. 17) and Cal State Fullerton (Aug. 19).
LMU's road opener against UC Irvine (Aug. 24) is also its first match against a 2011 NCAA Tournament team. Additional 2011 NCAA qualifiers on the slate are UCLA (Sept. 7), San Diego (Oct. 7), Santa Clara (Oct. 12), Pepperdine (Oct. 19) and Portland (Oct. 28).
Along with Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and UCLA, the Lions will face seven other non-conference opponents in Houston Baptist (Aug. 26), Cal State Bakersfield (Aug. 31), Wisconsin (Sept. 2), Idaho State (Sept. 9), Arizona State (Sept. 14), Arizona (Sept. 16) and Utah Valley (Sept. 30).
West Coast Conference play begins Oct. 7 when the Lions host defending co-champion San Diego. Additional home matches in WCC play will be Saint Mary's on Oct. 14, San Francisco on Oct. 21 and BYU on Nov. 1. The Lions will hit the road to face Santa Clara on Oct. 12, Pepperdine on Oct. 19, Gonzaga on Oct. 26 and Portland on Oct. 28.
The Toreros were named co-WCC champions in 2011 along with Pepperdine. The strength of the WCC was made known last fall as those two, along with the Broncos and Pilots, all earned NCAA Tournament bids.
"We are returning a strong core of players who spent a spring dealing with some changes and are very motivated to succeed this fall," Myers said. "They will set the standard for our new core of players to follow and as coaches we expect to see great things from this group."