DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake women's soccer team, under the direction of fifth-year head coach Lindsey Horner, has unveiled its 2012 schedule, one that includes a challenging 20-match slate.
Drake returns 10 starters this fall from a unit that posted a 4-11-4 ledger last season.
"Our 2012 schedule includes opponents that will challenge and prepare us for our conference season," Horner commented.
Drake will have its lone exhibition contest at Green Bay on Aug. 11 in preparation for its season opener at the Cownie Soccer Complex on Aug. 17 against Northern Illinois.
The Bulldogs then begin a season-long four-game road swing at Nebraska on Aug. 19 before dates at SIU Edwardsville (Aug. 24), Southeast Missouri State (Aug. 26) and South Dakota State (Aug. 31).
"We're excited to open the season at home before facing four-straight road games, including an early test at Nebraska," Horner explained. "We have a stretch of seven-straight home games in September that should help us get ready and gain momentum as we gear up for MVC play."
Drake returns home to battle North Dakota State on Sept. 2, the contest marks the first of seven-consecutive games at home.
The Bulldogs host a pair of games on Parents Weekend, playing South Dakota (Sept. 7) and Nebraska-Omaha (Sept. 9).
Drake also battles Northern Colorado (Sept. 14), Eastern Illinois (Sept. 16) and UMKC (Sept. 19) before opening its Missouri Valley Conference slate against Missouri State (Sept. 22).
The Bulldogs round out the month of September with an in-state battle at Northern Iowa (Sept. 27) before stepping out of conference at Western Illinois (Oct. 3).
The Bulldogs also host Evansville on Senior Day (Oct. 7) and 2011 MVC Champion Illinois State (Oct. 25). Drake will be challenged by MVC dates at Creighton (Oct. 11) and Indiana State (Oct. 21).
Sprinkled into the conference slate is a road test at Iowa State (Oct. 14).
"We have a great variety of opponents on our schedule including teams from the Big 10, Big XII, and squads that finished at or near the top of their conference" said Horner. "We're looking forward to our in-state games with Iowa State and Northern Iowa as well as hosting Missouri State, Evansville, and Illinois State in conference play."
First round play in the State Farm MVC Championship begins on campus sites on Oct. 28 before the final two rounds are contested Nov. 2-4 in Omaha, Neb.