Valparaiso men’s soccer head coach Mike Avery announced today his side’s schedule for the 2012 campaign, a slate which includes four games against NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago, three of which will take place at Brown Field. The Crusaders are coming off a 2011 season in which they captured the Horizon League regular season championship.
The regular season opens for the Crusaders at Big Ten opponent Michigan State on Friday, Aug. 24, while the seven-game home slate opens Sunday, Sept. 2 at 1 p.m. at Brown Field against Western Illinois, which went to the NCAA Tournament last season. Valpo then flies to the West Coast the next weekend, taking on UC Santa Barbara (Sept. 7), which advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in 2011, and Cal Poly (Sept. 9).
The Crusaders will also host Western Michigan (Sept. 14) and NCAA second round participant Northern Illinois (Oct. 17) at Brown Field in non-league action. Valpo will hit the road for four more non-league contests as well, traveling to IUPUI (Sept. 19), DePaul (Oct. 10), Michigan (Oct. 28) and IPFW (Oct. 30).
The eight-game Horizon League schedule begins with a home game against defending Horizon League tournament champion Loyola on Saturday night, Sept. 22. Valpo will also host Green Bay (Oct. 6), Cleveland State (Oct. 13) and Wright State (Oct. 24) in league action, and will play as the visitor at UIC (Sept. 29), Butler (Oct. 3), Detroit (Oct. 21) and Milwaukee (Nov. 3). The 2012 Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship will be contested Nov. 9 and 11 at the home pitch of the league’s regular season champion, with the tournament champion earning an automatic berth into the 2012 NCAA Tournament.