The Musketeers will look to build on the success they had in 2012.
June 10, 2013
CINCINNATI - Head coach Andy Fleming released the 2013 men's soccer schedule, which will be the team's inaugural campaign in the Big East. The 2013 slate features matchups against six 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, including two that advanced to the Final Four.
"This is the toughest schedule we've ever had, bar none," Fleming said. "However, with that comes a great challenge and opportunity to further cement our program as a Top 25, perennial NCAA tournament side."
The Musketeers open BIG EAST conference play at home on September 28 against Marquette at 7:00 p.m. The matchup will be the school's first ever home BIG EAST game in any sport, officially beginning a new era. Seton Hall, Providence and Georgetown comprise the remainder of the home conference slate.
The conference games do not get any easier once Xavier hits the road. The Musketeers' away BIG EAST schedule features Creighton, DePaul, St. John's, Villanova and Butler.
In addition to the difficult BIG EAST schedule, the Musketeers must also navigate a challenging set of non-conference games. They open the season at the College of Charleston Tournament on August 30 against Furman. Two days later they will face off against the host school College of Charleston. The other non-conference games that will be played away are a September 21 matchup against Missouri State and an October 1 game at Pittsburgh.
The non-conference home opener will take place on September 7 at 7:00 p.m. against Northwestern, whom the Musketeers played to a tough 1-1 draw the previous season. The Musketeers will also host UC Irvine, Kentucky and crosstown rival Cincinnati. The game against the Bearcats will be on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:00 p.m.
"Having the likes of back-to-back Big 10 Champion Northwestern, 2012 NCAA Tournament team Kentucky, perennial NCAA team UC Irvine, Marquette, who got as high as #2 nationally last year and national finalist Georgetown as home games will create a buzz around our home slate and certainly provide the people of Cincinnati with Top 10 level college soccer on our campus," said Fleming.
The Musketeers' schedule also features two exhibition matches. The first will be a home game against Belmont, which will be played at 7:00 p.m. on August 18. The exhibition season will close on August 23, as the Musketeers will travel to Fort Wayne, Indiana to take part in the Shindigz National Soccer Festival to play Loyola (IL).
Despite the tough schedule, Fleming is confident the Musketeers can make another run at the postseason.
"We have a new, younger team and I think with a schedule of this caliber you're sure to take some lumps and drop a game here and there. However, after coming out 2-2 against Indiana, Louisville, Akron, and Notre Dame last spring, our guys are well versed and more than capable handling the demands of the season," said Fleming.