March 28, 2012
The University of Minnesota women's soccer team released their schedule for the 2012 season, which will be the 20th season in program history. Head coach Mikki Denney Wright and staff have arranged one of the toughest schedules in school history with six of their opponents reaching the NCAA Tournament last fall.
The Golden Gophers schedule features a total of 12 home games, which is the most regular-season home games in Minnesota history, and seven road tests. The Maroon and Gold hopes to take advantage of the large number of home matches since they have won 69 percent (113-48-11) of their games at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Gophers also had the highest home attendance in the Big Ten Conference last fall.
Minnesota opens the 2012 season with a nightcap at ELR Stadium against Florida State, who reached the NCAA College Cup last season and finished the year ranked third in the nation. Another storyline in the works is the return home of Seminole defender Kassey Kallman, who is the sister of Gopher alum and current assistant coach Krystle Seidel.
After facing the Seminoles, the Gophers turn around to face South Carolina that Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks won the SEC Championship and also reached the NCAA Tournament last season but fell to the 2011 National Champion, Stanford, in the second round.
From August 24-26, Minnesota treks back to Southern California for the second-straight year for matchups with San Diego, who has reached the NCAA Tournament the previous five seasons, and USC, who is in the ever challenging PAC-12 Conference. The Maroon and Gold will also get the privilege of playing on the 2012 College Cup field as Torero Stadium, which is home to San Diego, will host the final four games of the season.
Minnesota returns from The Golden State for a pair of Labor Day Weekend games against Western Kentucky and Bowling Green at ELR Stadium.
The following weekend, the Gophers will host the annual Minnesota Gold Classic from September 7-9. The Maroon and Gold look to avenge a pair of one-goal loses from last season as they face San Diego State and DePaul.
Big Ten play begins on September 16 as the Golden Gophers head to face Ohio State. The Buckeyes have reached the NCAA Sweet 16 the past two seasons.
Minnesota begins a three-match home stand on September 21 as they welcome Michigan for their Big Ten home opener. The Gophers then turn around to play Michigan State on September 23. The Maroon and Gold close out the home stand with a Border Battle matchup with Wisconsin on September 27.
On September 30, the Gophers hit the road to face the regular season Big Ten Champions in Penn State.
Another three-game stint at home begins on October 6 as they face Iowa, Illinois and Northwestern will visit ELR Stadium the following weekend for the Gophers' final home matches.
Minnesota caps off the season on the road with three-straight Big Ten matches against Indiana, Purdue and Nebraska.
The Big Ten Tournament is slated to begin on October 31 with the championship match on November 4. The first round of the NCAA Tournament will be played over the November 9-11 weekend, and the College Cup will be from November 30 to December 2 at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif.