The University of Akron men's soccer team announced its 2013 schedule Thursday.
Ten home games – including visits from NCAA Tournament qualifiers Michigan State, VCU and Wake Forest – a trio of challenging early season tournaments and four matches against the Big Ten highlight the schedule, first-year Zips head coach Jared Embick announced.
"The quality of opponents on our 2013 fall schedule will both challenge and prepare us for the postseason, which is the ultimate goal every fall," Embick said. "Additionally, we have a number of intriguing match-ups scheduled at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field that should provide excitement for our fans."
In all, the Zips schedule features 18 regular-season opponents, including six who qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Other home highlights include the third-ever visit by Wake Forest, a game against in-state foe Ohio State and a re-match of last season's Mid-American Conference Tournament final against Northern Illinois.
2013 Men's Soccer Fall Schedule
Aug. 20 – Marshall (exh.), 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 24 – at Saint Louis (exh.), 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 30 – at College of Charleston, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 – vs. Furman, Noon
Sept. 6 – at St. John's, 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 8 – vs. Rutgers, 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 13 – VCU, 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 15 – San Diego St., 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 – Bowling Green*, 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 24 – Ohio State, 7;00 p.m.
Sept. 29 – at West Virginia*, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 5 – Hartwick*, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 9 – at Cleveland State, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 – Wake Forest, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 18 – at Buffalo*, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 23 – Michigan State, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 26 – Northern Illinois*, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 30 – at Michigan, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 6 – Penn State, 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 9 – at Western Michigan*, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 15-17 – Mid-American Conference Tournament
*- Mid-American Conference match
Home contests in bold. All dates and times (ET) are subject to change.
The NCAA College Cup is set for Dec. 13-15. The tournament matches leading up that will be announced at the conclusion of the regular season.
General Admission ($75) and West Reserved Bleacher ($100) season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by logging on to GoZips.com/tickets, calling 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or visiting The C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field (located at 375 E. Exchange Street, near Gate 1 at the southwest corner of the venue, at the corner of E. Exchange and S. Union streets) Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
New in 2013, discounted General Admission season tickets are available for University of Akron Alumni and faculty/staff. Both tickets are $60 and must be purchased in person or on the phone. General Admission Family Plans ($200), which include a combination of two adult and two youth tickets or one adult and three youth tickets, are also available for the fall at this time.
For the fifth straight year, those who purchase a men's soccer season ticket package will receive one complimentary Akron Soccer scarf, which is exclusive to season ticketholders (one per season ticket) while supplies last. As a reminder, season ticket holders from the 2012 campaign have until June 1 to renew and guarantee their seat(s) for next fall.
Also new in 2013, all night games played at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field will begin at 7 p.m. ET.
Following a pair of exhibitions against Marshall (Aug. 20) and at Saint Louis (Aug. 24), which was the No. 8 seed in the championship bracket a year ago, the Zips will be on the road for the first four matches of the 2013 season, starting with a trip to South Carolina for the College of Charleston Tournament. There, UA will face the host Cougars (Aug. 30) in the first official match of 2013 before taking on Furman (Sept. 1) two days later.
Akron's road swing continues the following weekend when it heads up the East Coast for the St. John's Tournament. The Zips will face the host Red Storm (Sept. 6) on the first night of the four-team tourney before closing out the trip against Rutgers (Sept. 8). The Red Storm, which was defeated by Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago, played UA to a scoreless draw on FOX Soccer Channel in Akron last fall.
A familiar face and a pair of first-time opponents will be in town next for the home opener when VCU (Sept. 13) and San Diego St. (Sept. 15) come to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field for the annual Akron Tournament. The Rams, who are led by former UA assistant coach Dave Giffard, earned a No. 14 seed last fall before suffering a 3-2, double-overtime loss to Syracuse in the NCAA Second Round.
Akron will put its run of eight straight MAC regular-season titles on the line when it opens conference play at home against Bowling Green (Sept. 20) and travels to West Virginia (Sept. 29) for the final two matches of September.
A number of quality opponents await the Zips in the month of October as the college soccer season hits full swing. At the forefront will be home matches against Wake Forest (Oct. 15) and Michigan State (Oct. 23).
As the No. 15 seed in last year's championships, the Demon Deacons fell by way of a golden goal against Coastal Carolina in the first overtime period of their second-round match-up. On the other side of the bracket, the Big Ten Champion Spartans got past Cleveland State, which will host UA on Oct. 9, in the opening round before falling to top-seeded Notre Dame.
October will also feature a pair of notable re-matches when NIU (Oct. 26) comes to campus looking for redemption from last year's MAC Championship match defeat and the Zips head to Michigan (Oct. 30) for their first meeting since UA ended the Wolverines season in the NCAA Second Round.
UA will then play its final home game against another Big Ten school, Penn State (Nov. 6), before finishing the regular season at Western Michigan (Nov. 9). Other MAC contests include a Homecoming weekend contest against Hartwick (Oct. 5) at home and Buffalo (Oct. 18) on the road.
The Zips swept the MAC regular-season and tournament titles for the fifth time in six years in 2012 and advanced to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season. UA will return nine letterwinners and five starters for Embick's first year at the helm.