June 12, 2006
The Notre Dame women’s soccer team is set to face a challenging schedule in 2006, with 10 of the 18 regular-season games slated to be on the road. The schedule will include several games versus some of the nation’s top programs – headlined by Santa Clara, Connecticut, USC, Michigan, SMU, West Virginia, Mississippi, Iowa State and Villanova. The Irish also will play at Alumni Field during two home football games (Purdue and Stanford) and likewise could be playing NCAA Tournament action at home during the weekend of the ND-Army football game.
Seven of the teams on Notre Dame’s 2006 schedule advanced to the 2005 NCAAs, with Santa Clara reaching the quarterfinal round of the ’05 NCAAs while West Virginia, SMU and USC were second-round participants (UConn, Ole Miss and Iowa State also played in the ’05 NCAAs). Michigan and Villanova have been regular NCAA participants throughout the decade but did not advance to the NCAAs last season.
Notre Dame – which will play a home exhibition versus Xavier on Aug. 17 (1:00) and could add a second preseason exhibition – will play an eight-game slate of regular-season home games in 2006, with the home opener set for Aug. 26 versus Iowa State (1:00). The Irish also will serve as the host team for the annual Adidas Classic in early September, with the first-day action on Sept. 1 to feature Santa Clara versus Harvard (5:00) and Notre Dame versus USC later that night (7:30). The tournament then will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 3, with the USC-Harvard game at 11:00 while ND and SCU will renew one of women’s soccer’s greatest rivalries at 1:00.
The home schedule also includes five straight against BIG EAST Conference teams, versus Louisville (Sept. 24; 1:00), West Virginia (Sept. 29; 7:30), Pittsburgh (Oct. 1; 1:00), Seton Hall (Oct. 6; 7:30) and Rutgers (Oct. 8; 1:00). The WVU and Pitt games correspond with the Purdue football weekend while the SHU and RU games fall on the same weekend when the ND football team will take on Stanford (the Irish also could host an NCAA third-round game on the weekend of the Nov. 18 home football game vs. Army).
The Irish are slated to play 10 regular-season road games – in nine different states – at: Mississippi (Aug. 27; 1:00), Texas Christian (Sept. 8; 7:00), SMU (Sept. 10; 1:00), DePaul (Sept. 15; time TBA), Michigan (Sept. 17; 1:00), Cincinnati (Sept. 22; 7:00), Connecticut (Oct. 13; 7:00), Providence (Oct. 15; 1:00), Villanova (Oct. 20; 4:00) and Georgetown (Oct. 22; 1:00). Note that the date of the UConn game could be shifted due to a potential TV broadcast (any change will be noted on und.com).
The 16-team BIG EAST alignment again will include two divisions, with each team playing the others in its division and four from the other division (the Irish will not play Marquette, South Florida, St. John’s or Syracuse in ’06).
The BIG EAST Championship again is scheduled to include 10 teams (pending final approval), with a pair of first-round games to be played on Oct. 25 or 26. Those games will feature the 4th-place finishers from each division vs. the 5th-place team from the other division, with the winners advancing on to the quarterfinals (the top three teams in each division will fill out the quarterfinal field).
The BIG EAST quarterfinals are slated for Oct. 28 or 29, with the top two finishers in each division serving as the host teams. The BIG EAST semifinals (Nov. 3) and championship game (Nov. 5) are scheduled to return to the familiar site of UConn’s Morrone Stadium, marking the fifth time in the past nine seasons that the Huskies will enjoy the luxury of serving as the host team for the conference tournament.
NCAA Tournament first- and second-round games will be played Nov. 10 and 12 at campus sites. Third-round NCAA games then will be contested the following week on campus sites (Nov. 17-19) while the campus-site quarterfinals are set for Nov. 24-26.
The NCAA semifinals (Dec. 1) and championship game (Dec. 3) will return to Cary, N.C., and SAS Stadium, the site of Notre Dame’s 2004 national championship.
See the schedule link at und.com for the complete schedule (also will be linked to this release; be sure to check back to the schedule page for any changes that may occur).