Valparaiso University head women's soccer coach Stephen Anthony has announced his 2005 fall soccer schedule.
The Crusaders are slated to play an 18-match regular season schedule, including eight contests at Eastgate Field. Valpo has a pair of 2004 NCAA Tournament teams on its schedule and will also travel to Omaha, Neb. for a midseason tournament.
After playing a pair of exhibition matches, the Brown and Gold will open the regular season at home on August 26 as the Crusaders host Murray State. Three of the first four matches of the season will take place at Eastgate Field, as Valpo entertains Lipscomb and Indiana State over Labor Day weekend. The match against Lipscomb will be the first meeting ever between the two schools.
The road slate opens on August 28 at Central Michigan and the Crusaders will also play at both Toledo and Cleveland State prior to opening Mid-Continent Conference action at Eastgate Field on September 18. Valpo heads to Chicago on September 20 to face Big Ten foe Northwestern for the first time since 1996.
The Crusaders will head to the Diadora Classic on September 23 and 25 to face North Dakota State and tournament host Creighton. The match against the Blue Jays will be the first of two straight against NCAA Tournament teams from last season, as Valpo will then head to Mid-Con champion Oral Roberts on October 1.
Valpo hosts Centenary during Homecoming weekend and travels to both Loyola (Ill.) and IUPUI before beginning its longest home stand of the season. Matches against Youngstown State, Oakland, and IPFW will close the home portion of the schedule, with the match against the Mastodons on October 23 being marked as Senior Day.
The regular season will come to a close on October 29 with a conference match at Southern Utah before the Crusaders head to the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament November 4 and 6 in Tulsa, Okla.
Valparaiso is coming off of a 10-8-2 mark overall in 2004, the best season in school history. The Crusaders finished 3-3 in Mid-Continent Conference action, tying for third during the regular season. Valpo advanced to the Mid-Con Tournament championship match before falling to Oral Roberts.
Anthony, in his eighth season at the helm of the Crusaders, returns 16 letterwinners, including eight starters from last year's squad.