Men's Soccer Unveils 2014 Schedule
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake men's soccer team, under the direction of 17th-year head coach Sean Holmes, has announced a challenging 19-game schedule for 2014, including dates with five 2013 NCAA Tournament participants.
Drake returns six starters from a squad that registered an 8-8-4 record last fall, including a 3-1-2 mark en route to a second-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference.
"With a solid core of quality returning players we decided to schedule aggressively this fall," Holmes commented. "Our west coast swing at Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara will be one of the road highlights of our non-conference travel schedule. I’m also excited to keep our series with Creighton going, they will be one of three Big East opponents we play this year. With four consecutive home games to start the season, it will be important we get out of the gate fast.”
The Bulldogs will be challenged by a pair of home exhibition games in preparation for their season opener facing Loras University on Aug. 20 at the Cownie Soccer Complex and Luther College on Aug. 22 at Drake Stadium.
Following the exhibitions against Loras and Luther, Drake will play nine home contests at the Cownie Soccer Complex as part of its 18-game regular season schedule.
The Bulldogs’ 29th intercollegiate campaign opens with a four-game homestand as Drake squares off against Houston Baptist on Aug. 29, before hosting 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Milwaukee, on Aug. 31, to close out the squad's opening weekend.
A pair of Horizon League foes will travel to the Cownie Soccer Complex the following weekend as Drake faces Green Bay and Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on Sept. 5 and Sept. 7, respectively.
The Bulldogs begin the road portion of their schedule traveling to Milwaukee, Wis., for the start of a six-game road swing, one that will see Drake travel to four states over a three-week span.
A date against Marquette, another 2013 NCAA Tournament participant, begins the journey on Sept. 13 before the Bulldogs visit Chicago to square off versus DePaul on Sept. 17. The Golden Eagles finished their 2013 campaign ranked No. 12 in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.
Arguably one of the most anticipated annual non-conference showdowns for Drake awaits the Bulldogs on Sept. 20 with a date at UMKC.
Holmes then takes his Drake squad to California for games with Cal Poly on Sept. 26 and UC Santa Barbara, a 2013 NCAA Tournament participant, on Sept. 28. The Gauchos finished their 2013 campaign ranked No. 20 in the final NSCAA poll.
The Bulldogs open the month of October kicking off their Missouri Valley Conference slate at Missouri State on Oct. 4.
Drake returns home on Oct. 7 welcoming their former MVC rival Creighton to the Cownie Soccer Complex.
Drake opens its home conference schedule on Oct. 11 hosting Loyola. The showdown with the Ramblers is the first of three home league contests for the Bulldogs.
Rounding out the non-conference schedule is a home date against Western Illinois on Oct. 21 before encountering Nebraska Omaha on the road on Oct. 28.
Drake also entertains Evansville (Oct. 25) and Central Arkansas (Nov. 1) in league play, while facing road dates at SIU Edwardsville on Oct. 18. A tilt at Bradley, the defending MVC Tournament champions, rounds out the league and regular season slate for Drake on Nov. 8.
The 2014 MVC Championship will be held Nov. 12-16 in Peoria, Ill.