May 2, 2006
2006 Schedule in PDF Format
OXFORD, Miss. -
Six of last year's NCAA Tournament teams, including 2004 National Champion Notre Dame, highlight an exciting 2006 schedule for the Ole Miss women's soccer team, announced by head coach Steve Holeman on Monday.
Ole Miss will be looking to continue its recent success that includes last year's SEC West Championship and the program's third trip to the NCAA Tournament in four years. The Rebels will host 12 home games during the fall, including a preseason exhibition match with Oklahoma State on Aug. 19. The Rebels saw 8,342 total fans in 11 matches in Oxford last season, which ranked 22nd in the nation.
In non-conference action, the Rebels will host a pair of NCAA participants in the Fighting Irish, who advanced to the quarterfinals, and the SMU Mustangs, who made it to the second round a year ago. Ole Miss will travel to Boulder to face a second-round NCAA team in the Colorado Buffaloes. Other non-conference teams on the slate are East Tennessee State, Southern Miss, Memphis and Arkansas-Little Rock.
"I think this is potentially the toughest non-conference schedule we've ever had," said Holeman, who is the only head coach in program history. "The games against Notre Dame, Colorado and SMU are going to be especially challenging."
The Rebels will also face three Southeastern Conference squads with postseason experience last year in Tennessee, Florida and Vanderbilt. The Rebels finished second to Tennessee for the regular-season SEC title a season ago.
After the exhibition with OSU, the Rebels kick off the regular season at the Ole Miss Soccer Stadium against East Tennessee State on Friday, Aug. 25. That Sunday Ole Miss will host possibly the highest profile non-conference team to ever come into Oxford with a noon matchup against Notre Dame. The Irish finished the 2005 season ranked No. 5 in the nation. They were one of five of the Rebels' future opponents to finish in the top 30 in the polls, including Tennessee (14), Vanderbilt (23), Florida (25) and Colorado (28).
September begins with a trip to Boulder, Colo., for the Colorado Nike Classic. The Rebels take on Denver on Sept. 1, followed by Colorado on Sept. 3.
"Denver is a solid program that has been to the NCAA Tournament recently, and Colorado is a tough opponent from the Big 12," Holeman said. "The past five or six years we have done our best to get Big 12 teams on the schedule, because they are always tough competition from one of the best soccer conferences in the nation."
Ole Miss returns to Oxford on Sept. 8 to begin an eight-game home stand which kicks off with non-conference foes Southern Miss (Sept. 8), Memphis (Sept. 10), SMU (Sept. 15) and Arkansas-Little Rock (Sept. 17).
An always-challenging SEC slate begins with Tennessee coming to town on Sept. 22, followed by home contests with Georgia (Sept. 24), Arkansas (Sept. 29) and LSU (Oct. 1).
The Rebels will be tested in the month of October as they encounter a five-match conference road swing with matches at Auburn (Oct. 6), Alabama (Oct. 8), Florida (Oct. 13), South Carolina (Oct. 15) and Vanderbilt (Oct. 20).
"It will be very challenging to play that many road games back-to-back in the SEC," Holeman added. "It's usually nice to have a balance of home and road matches, but this will force us to be on top of our game."
The Rebels return to Oxford for the regular-season home finale against Kentucky on Oct. 22 before traveling to Starkville to square off against Mississippi State for the Magnolia Cup on Oct. 27.
The top eight SEC teams after the regular season will advance to the conference tournament to be held Nov. 2-5 in Orange Beach, Ala.
Should the Rebels reach the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years, they will play a first-round match on Nov. 10 at a campus site to be determined. The first and second rounds will be held Nov. 10 and 12, with the third round games on Nov. 17 and 19 and the quarterfinals on Nov. 24-26.
This year's Women's College Cup will be hosted by North Carolina State in Cary, N.C., on Dec. 1-3.
For ticket information regarding 2006 Ole Miss home matches, fans should contact the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 662-915-7167.
Ole Miss returns all 11 starters from last year's squad that won a school-record 14 regular-season matches en route to a 14-5-2 overall record. Returnees include 2005 honorable mention All-American and first team All-SEC selection Chrissy Strini and SEC Freshman of the Year and first team All-SEC performer Jennifer Hance. Also returning are former All-SEC selections in seniors Brittney Potts, Kelly Renie and Lyndsey Williams.
19 Oklahoma State (Exhibition) Oxford, Miss. 5 p.m.
25 East Tennessee State Oxford, Miss. 7 p.m.
27 Notre Dame Oxford, Miss. Noon
1 vs. Denver (Colorado Nike Classic) Boulder, Colo. 3 p.m.
3 at Colorado (Colorado Nike Classic) Boulder, Colo. 2 p.m.
8 Southern Miss Oxford, Miss. 7 p.m.
10 Memphis Oxford, Miss. 1 p.m.
15 SMU Oxford, Miss. 7 p.m.
17 Arkansas-Little Rock Oxford, Miss. 1 p.m.
22 *Tennessee Oxford, Miss. 7 p.m.
24 *Georgia Oxford, Miss. 1 p.m.
29 *Arkansas Oxford, Miss. 7 p.m.
1 *LSU Oxford, Miss. 1 p.m.
6 *at Auburn Auburn, Ala. 7 p.m.
8 *at Alabama Tuscaloosa, Ala. 1 p.m.
13 *at Florida Gainesville, Fla. 6 p.m.
15 * at South Carolina Columbia, S.C. Noon
20 *at Vanderbilt Nashville, Tenn. 7 p.m.
22 *Kentucky Oxford, Miss. 1 p.m.
27 *at Mississippi State Starkville, Miss. 7 p.m.
2-5 SEC Tournament Orange Beach, Ala.
10-12 NCAA First and Second Rounds Campus Sites
17-19 NCAA Third Round Campus Sites
24-26 NCAA Quarterfinals Campus Sites
1-3 NCAA College Cup Cary, N.C.
All times are Central Standard Time