Twelve games against 2011 NCAA Tourney teams highlight this fall's slate
May 9, 2012
Coming off his first spring leading the Vanderbilt women's soccer program, Head Coach Derek Greene announced the Commodores' complete 2012 schedule Wednesday.
The 20-game schedule includes 12 contests against teams that appeared in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including non-conference opponents Oklahoma State, Memphis and Tennessee-Martin. The Commodores also will face an expanded 13-game Southeastern Conference slate with the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri to the league.
"We are excited for an extremely competitive 2012 schedule," Greene said. "Our schedule is strong from our very first game on August 17 against 2011 Ohio Valley Conference champion UT-Martin, and there are no breaks. This will be a great test for our young team every time we step on the field."
Nine of Vanderbilt's first 11 games will take place on the road. Four away tilts--in-state trips to UT-Martin and MTSU sandwiched around a weekend journey to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma--open the year before Vanderbilt plays host to Gonzaga and Memphis to begin September. The Dores will then close out the non-conference portion of their schedule with a short jaunt up Interstate-65 to face Western Kentucky.
"We have four great regional rivalries in the non-conference, including a visit from nationally ranked Memphis." Greene said. "We also have scheduled an outstanding trip into the heart of the Big 12 to face Oklahoma State, who has advanced to the Elite 8 in each of the last two years, and Oklahoma. Both Memphis and Oklahoma State were nationally seeded teams in last year's NCAA Tournament. The Gonzaga game is the first leg of a home-and-home series that we also are excited about."
The first two weekends of SEC play keep the Commodores out on the road. Vanderbilt returns to Athens, Ga., and Knoxville on the opening weekend of league play before trips to Starkville, Miss., and Columbia, Mo.
Six of VU's next eight games will take place at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex on campus in Nashville. The Commodores play host to Alabama and South Carolina to end September before a final weekend road trip to Fayetteville, Ark., and Baton Rouge, La.
Vanderbilt's last two Friday-Sunday weekends will be at home against Ole Miss and Texas A&M, and Auburn and Florida. After lauding its senior class in the Oct. 21 tilt against the Gators, the Commodores will close the regular season in Lexington, Ky., for Kentucky's Senior Day.
"It's hard to believe it could be possible after a year in which we had eight SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament, but adding Texas A&M and Missouri will raise the level of competition in our league," Greene said. "We only have two non-conference home games this year, but our fans definitely will be rewarded for their patience when we close our home schedule against Texas A&M, Auburn and Florida."
The 2012 Southeastern Conference Tournament returns to Orange Beach, Ala., culminating in the first weekend of November. The Commodores missed the SEC Tournament last season for the first time since 2008. Of the SEC's 14 teams, the top 10 will advance to Orange Beach this season. The tournament is scheduled to begin on Monday, Oct. 29, with the championship game slated for Sunday, Nov. 4.
The Commodore soccer team is enjoying a bit of time off before returning to campus in the first week of June to begin its annual series of four summer camp sessions. Weekly day camps are offered beginning on June 4 and June 18, with overnight camps slated for July.