Kansas Soccer Announces 2008 Fall Schedule

April 1, 2008

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<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas head soccer coach Mark Francis announced Tuesday that he has finalized the team’s schedule for the 2008 season. The Jayhawks will play 10 home matches next fall, including contests against NCAA Tournament participants Purdue, Colorado, Texas A&M and Texas. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

“I am looking forward to the 2008 season,” Francis said.

“The Big 12 conference will be the toughest that it has ever been and our non-conference schedule will again challenge us early in the season to see where we stack up against some of the best teams in the country.”

The Jayhawks – who routinely play one of the most challenging schedules in Division I soccer – will face six schools which were ranked in the final NSCAA Top 25 to end the 2007 season as well as eight NCAA Tournament teams.

KU kicks off the season with a Friday afternoon contest against Purdue, the reigning Big Ten Tournament champs. The Boilers were ranked 16th in the final NSCAA national poll. The team will also play Auburn (Sunday, Aug. 31) and UAB (Friday, Sept. 5) during an initial three-match home stand.

The Jayhawks’ first road contests will be at SMU (Sunday, Sept. 7) and at MissouriState (Friday, Sept. 12). Kansas faced both opponents at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex in 2007.

After a Sunday match with Loyola-Chicago on Sept. 14, the team will take to the road again to face Florida (Friday, Sept. 19) and UCF (Sunday, Sept. 21). Both schools were NCAA Tournament participants last year. The Gators finished the season with a record of 17-5-3 and lost to eventual national champion USC in the Sweet 16.

The Jayhawks close out the month of September with its first conference matches, at Nebraska (Friday, Sept. 28) and at IowaState (Sunday, Sept. 30). KU defeated both Big 12 rivals at the Jayhawk Soccer Complex during the 2007 season.

KU returns to Lawrence the following weekend, and closes out the regular season with six of its final nine matches on its home turf. The Jayhawks host Texas Tech (Friday, Oct. 3) and Colorado (Sunday, Oct. 5) in the first week of October. The Buffaloes advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, despite falling to KU, 2-0, in Boulder.

The Jayhawks travel to Oklahoma the following weekend to face OklahomaState (Friday, Oct. 10) and Oklahoma (Sunday, Oct. 12). The Cowgirls knocked KU out of the Big 12 Soccer Championships last season, while the last two regular season meetings between the schools have gone to overtime.

KU opens a four-match home stand the following weekend with defending Big 12 champion Texas A&M (Friday, Oct. 17) and non-conference foe Francis-Marion (Sunday, Oct. 19). The team’s final weekend at home includes matches against conference rivals Texas (Friday, Oct. 24) and Baylor (Sunday, Oct. 26).

The Jayhawks will wrap up the regular season with a Friday evening match against Border Showdown rival Missouri (Oct. 31) in Columbia. Last season, the Jayhawks came from behind to shock the nationally ranked Tigers, 2-1, in Lawrence.

The Big 12 Soccer Championships will once again be held at Blossom Soccer Complex in San Antonio, Texas. Opening round matches are scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 5 with the champion crowned on Sunday, Nov. 9.