Soccer Releases 2009 Schedule
July 2, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Three 2008 NCAA Tournament participants, a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference foes and an 11-game Conference USA slate are on tap for the defending C-USA regular season co-champion East Carolina soccer team, as the 2009 schedule was released by 11th-year head coach Rob Donnenwirth Thursday.
Wake Forest, UCF and Memphis played in the postseason a year ago while six of the Pirates' eight non-conference opponents ended last season with a .500 or better record.
"I feel our schedule will be a big test for a young team," Donnenwirth said. "The strength of our non-conference opponents gives us the opportunity to have a good RPI and also prepares us for an always tough C-USA slate."
ECU kicks off its year at Bunting Field on Aug. 14, hosting UNC Greensboro in an exhibition contest. The regular season opens a week later, when VCU travels to Greenville for a 5 p.m. tilt. The Pirates then take to the road four times in the next six games, including matches against the Demon Deacons and N.C. State. During that stretch, ECU also faces contests at Gardner-Webb and Coastal Carolina while hosting Stony Brook and Old Dominion.
The Pirates begin defense of their 2008 conference title with four-straight home games against Rice, Houston, Southern Miss and UCF. East Carolina then takes to the road for the next four tilts, making trips to Tulsa, SMU, Colorado College and UTEP. Playing two of their last three games at home, the Pirates welcome UAB and Memphis to Bunting Field while visiting Marshall for the regular season finale.
The 2009 C-USA Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 4-8 at Westcott Field on the campus of SMU. ECU, which was the No. 1 seed for the first time in program history, advanced to its first league tournament title game in 2008, defeating SMU, 1-0, and Colorado College, 2-1 in overtime, in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. The winner of the event receives C-USA's automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.