New Mexico State soccer head coach Blair Quinn announced the schedule for the 2011 season that features nine home matches. The fall campaign is highlighted with a pair of rivalry games and two NCAA Tournament teams.
For the third consecutive year, the Aggies open the season against I-10 rival UTEP (Aug. 19) in El Paso, Texas. The Miners hold a 1-0 series lead after the 2010 match was cancelled due to weather.
NM State meets six teams for the first time in school history when the Aggies face Texas Tech (Aug. 21) in Lubbock, Texas, Houston Baptist (Aug. 28) in Las Cruces, Tennessee Tech (Sept. 4) in Jacksonville, Ala., Arkansas-Little Rock (Sept. 11) in Las Cruces, Weber State (Sept. 18) in Ogden, Utah and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical (Sept. 23) in Las Cruces.
“The opening weekend is really good,” Quinn said. “It’s something we’re looking forward to. Obviously, everyone always wants to get started and play that first game. UTEP is a rivalry game, and Texas Tech is a very good team out of the Big 12. It will be a very challenging opening weekend on the road for us to get started, and we’ll find out right away where we are at, how good we are and how much we need to improve.”
The Aggies host Prairie View A&M (Aug. 26) in the home opener. NM State has a 1-0 advantage over the Panthers following an 8-0 victory in 2010. The Crimson and White travels to Jacksonville State (Sept 2) in Jacksonville, Ala., for a rematch after the Aggies won the first meeting, 2-1, last season.
NM State hosts Northern Colorado (Sept. 9) and look to even the series after a tough 1-0 overtime loss in 2010. The Aggies travel to Idaho State (Sept. 16) in Pocatello, Idaho, for a return trip after falling to the Tigers in double overtime, 2-1, in the inaugural season home opener.
In the final non-conference match, the Aggies host in-state rival New Mexico (Sept. 25), who was a NCAA Tournament participant in 2010, for the first time in Las Cruces after falling in Albuquerque, 1-0, last year.
“We have some good home games in September with Northern Colorado and New Mexico, which is another big rivalry game,” he said. “That should be an entertaining game. That leads us into conference play, which is always challenging. Every conference game is a one or two goal game. It’s a good schedule. It’s certainly a schedule we can be successful in, but we’ll have to play well to do it. We’re looking forward to it.”
NM State opens its third season in the WAC with a pair of road matches at Louisiana Tech (Oct. 2) in Ruston, La., and Utah State (Oct. 7) in Logan, Utah. The Aggies are looking for their first win against the Lady Techsters and Aggies.
The Aggie squad hosts Nevada (Oct. 9) and Idaho (Oct. 14) in Las Cruces. Last season, NM State fell to the Wolf Pack, 2-1, in double overtime in the conference opener. The series with the Vandals is tied at 1-1 following Idaho’s 4-1 win in Moscow in 2010.
NM State travels to California for its final road trip of the regular season with matches at San Jose State (Oct. 21) in San Jose, Calif., and Fresno State (Oct. 23) in Fresno, Calif. The Aggies have a 0-1-1 record against the Spartans after a tough 2-1 loss last year, and a 2-0 record versus the Bulldogs following a 2-0 win in 2010. Fresno State played in the NCAA Tournament last season after winning the WAC Tournament.
The Aggies host Hawai’i (Oct. 28) in Las Cruces for the 2011 season finale. NM State posts a 1-0-1 record against the Rainbow Wahine after a 2-2 overtime draw last year.
After a year’s absence, the Aggies look to return to the WAC Tournament (Nov. 3-6) in Fresno, Calif., as only the top six teams qualifying.
2011 New Mexico State soccer schedule
Aug. 19 at UTEP
Aug. 21 at Texas Tech
Aug. 26 Prairie View A&M
Aug. 28 Houston Baptist
Sept. 2 at Jacksonville State
Sept. 4 vs. Tennessee Tech
Sept. 9 Northern Colorado
Sept. 11 Arkansas-Little Rock
Sept. 16 at Idaho State
Sept. 18 at Weber State
Sept. 23 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
Sept. 25 New Mexico
Oct. 2 at Louisiana Tech*
Oct. 7 at Utah State*
Oct. 9 Nevada*
Oct. 14 Idaho*
Oct. 21 at San Jose State*
Oct. 23 at Fresno State*
Oct. 28 Hawai’i*
Nov. 3-6 WAC Tournament (Fresno, Calif.)
Home matches in bold
* denotes WAC matches
All dates are subject to change
Match times will be announced at a later date