May 8, 2014
WACO, Texas - Baylor soccer released its fall 2014 schedule Thursday, which features an even split of 10 home and 10 away matches. Seven of the matches are against teams who participated in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and five are against teams ranked in the top 25 in the final 2013 NSCAA Coaches Poll. The Bears' 20 opponents for next fall combined for a 216-166-47 record in 2013.
"We are excited about the 2014 schedule and the opportunities each game will present our team," said Co-Head Coach Paul Jobson. "We have intentionally scheduled a variety of different styles of play. We believe this will prepare us properly for the conference season and the post season."
Baylor is coming off of an 11-6-3 (3-4-1 Big 12) season which ended in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship. The team will begin the season with two exhibition matches. The first at home against Sam Houston State on Aug. 12 before traveling to Gainesville, Florida, to help gauge where the team is at before beginning regular season play. On Aug. 16, they will take on the Gators, who finished the 2013 season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and ranked 10th in the final Coaches Poll.
The season-opening weekend for the Bears will feature two home matches. The opener will be against Rice on Aug. 22 and the weekend will end against Houston Baptist on Aug. 24. Then the team heads to Utah for two more games as they face Utah Valley on Aug. 29 and BYU on Sept. 1. Perhaps the toughest road match of the entire season, BYU is coming off a successful season as the Cougars won the West Coast Conference and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Next, Baylor returns home for another pair of matches against Incarnate Word on Sept. 5 and Northwestern State on Sept. 7. Then the Bears will head to the Midwest to take on perennial power Notre Dame, who made a run to the Sweet 16 in last year's tournament, on Sept. 12. They will stay in the region as they face Illinois State on Sept. 14. The team then ends the road swing back in Texas as it takes on UTSA in San Antonio on Sept. 19.
The Bears will return home for their last non-conference game of the season against Oral Roberts on Sept. 21. Baylor opens up Big 12 play with a three-game home stand. First, the Bears play Kansas on Sept. 26, then Iowa State on Sept. 28 and TCU on Oct. 3.
Baylor faces its first road test of the conference schedule with a trip to Oklahoma. The team will take on the Sooners on Oct. 10. Next, Baylor takes a short trip down I-35 to Stillwater to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Oct. 12. The Cowboys made the NCAA Tournament in 2013, but lost in the first round. Before returning home, the Bears head to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech on Oct. 24. The Red Raiders have been a formidable opponent, as they finished the season ranked 17th in the nation.
On Oct. 26, the Bears face Texas in their final home match of the regular season. Then they will travel to Morgantown, West Virginia, to play the Mountaineers in the last conference match of the season on Oct. 31. This could be a big game for the Bears, as West Virginia won the Big 12 last season and finished 14th in the Coaches Poll.
The Big 12 Soccer Championship will commence on Nov. 5th, and a champion will be crowned on Nov. 9th. The tournament will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, with all matches being played at Swope Soccer Village, hosted by Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer. Finally, the Bears will hopefully compete in the NCAA Tournament, which will begin on Nov. 14.