June 3, 2010
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By Brian Ormiston
Orlando, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After finishing the 2009 season ranked 11th in the NCAA RPI, the UCF women's soccer team released its 2010 schedule on Thursday. The Knights will open the regular season at home against Florida Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. while they also play host to this year's 2010 Conference USA Championship Nov. 3-7.
"As always we really look forward to testing ourselves against the best teams in the country," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "Our non-conference schedule last year was the second-toughest in the country, and this year should be equally competitive. We have seven C-USA home games and the ability to host the C-USA Tournament is huge, avoiding travel after a long season is definitely an advantage.
"The road trips to Memphis, UAB, Colorado College and UTEP are always very challenging. All four teams are extremely competitive and the altitude comes into play as well against the Tigers and Miners. In the past we've had successful trips out there and we hope we can do the same this season."
UCF was ranked as high as No. 8 in the country a year ago en route to a 17-5-1 overall record and a 10-1-0 mark in C-USA. The 2009 C-USA regular-season champions, the Knights advanced to their 14th NCAA Tournament, including making their third-straight trip to the Second Round.
This year's slate includes eight non-conference games against No. 6 Florida State, No. 14 Florida, No. 29 San Diego State, No. 32 Arizona State, Arizona, Harvard, South Florida and Virginia Commonwealth (rankings are RPI numbers). Five of those opponents, FSU, UF, San Diego State, Harvard and ASU, all reached the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Following a scrimmage with Florida International Aug. 13, the 2010 campaign kicks off when Florida invades Orlando Aug. 22. It will be the first time since 2005 that the Gators travel to Orlando. In the last five meetings dating back to 2004, the two teams are tied at 2-2-1. Five days later, the Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State Aztecs visit UCF Aug. 27.
On Sept. 3, the Knights head over to Tampa to face South Florida before hosting Virginia Commonwealth Sept. 5 in their first-ever meeting with the Rams on the pitch. The next weekend, UCF welcomes Ivy League champion Harvard to town Sept. 10, then travels to Florida State Sept. 12 to meet a Seminoles squad that advanced to the Elite Eight last season.
To wrap up the non-conference schedule, UCF makes the long trek to compete in the Arizona Tournament Sept. 17-19 where it tangles with host Arizona as well as Arizona State. The event also features NCAA Tournament participant Ohio State, while ASU joined the Knights in Madison, Wis., for last year's first and second round games with Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee.
And after playing yet another difficult package of non-conference teams, UCF then enters the C-USA portion of its season. Including the Knights, seven of the 12 programs had an RPI in the top-100 in 2009. Two of those schools come to the UCF campus right away in East Carolina and Marshall Sept. 24-26. The Black and Gold also will host Houston, Rice, Tulsa, SMU and Southern Miss.
On the road, UCF travels to NCAA Tournament representative Memphis, UAB, Colorado College and UTEP. All four of those institutions had an RPI of 58 or better a year ago.
If that did not test the Knights enough, they will be able to stay at home this season when they host the C-USA Championship Nov. 3-7. It will be the first time that UCF serves as the host school for a conference tournament since the 2001 Atlantic Sun postseason event was held in Orlando.
2010 UCF Women's Soccer Schedule
Fri. Aug. 13 - FIU-scrimmage - 7 p.m.
Sun. Aug. 22 - Florida - 7 p.m.
Fri. Aug. 27 - San Diego State - 7 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 3 - at South Florida - 7 p.m.
Sun. Sept. 5 - Virginia Commonwealth - 1 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 10 - Harvard - 7 p.m.
Sun. Sept. 12 - at Florida State - 1 p.m.
Arizona Tournament, Tucson, Ariz., Sept. 17-19
Fri. Sept. 17 - at Arizona - 10:30 p.m.
Sun. Sept. 19 - vs. Arizona State - 1:30 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 24 - East Carolina* - 7 p.m.
Sun. Sept. 26 - Marshall* - 1 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 1 - at Memphis* - 8 p.m.
Sun. Oct. 3 - at UAB* - 3 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 8 - Houston* - 7 p.m.
Sun. Oct. 10 - Rice* - 1 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 15 - at Colorado College* - 6 p.m.
Sun. Oct. 17 - at UTEP* - 1 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 22 - Tulsa* - 7 p.m.
Sun. Oct. 24 - SMU* - 1 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 29 - Southern Miss* - 8 p.m.
Nov. 3-7 - C-USA Championship - Orlando, Fla.
Nov. 12 - NCAA Tournament Begins
-All Times are Eastern and are subject to change
-Home matches held at the UCF Soccer Complex
* - C-USA Match