Pensky has assembled a competitive schedule for the Orange & White
May 16, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - In his first season as the head coach of Tennessee soccer, Brian Pensky has assembled a competitive schedule for the Orange & White.
"This is a challenging schedule, both inside and outside of SEC play," Pensky said. "If we include Texas A&M in our calculations, the SEC would have had nine teams in the NCAA tournament last year. That is a remarkable statistic. So everyone in the league will have their work cut out this fall, especially with some of the travel involved on away weekends."
Pensky will coach his first regular-season game on the sidelines at Regal Stadium with Tennessee on Aug. 17 with a visit from Samford at 7 p.m. That will be followed by a trip to Western Kentucky on Aug. 19.
UT hosts its annual First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic on Aug. 24 and 26 as VCU, William & Mary and Akron come to Knoxville.
Tennessee will travel west in early September to face Cal State Northridge on Sept. 7 and UCLA on Sept. 9. The Bruins were the No. 2 seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament before being upset in the second round. Both games should be measuring sticks for UT in the early part of the season as the team heads into SEC play following the conclusion of the their trip to California.
Without question the 2012 campaign will not be an easy one with a schedulethat holds nine teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last season. Seven of those teams: Auburn, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia,LSU, and Texas A&M, are all SEC opponents and will face Tennessee from September 14 through October 25.
The Big Orange will also welcome newest conference members Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC by hosting the Tigers of Mizzou on September 30 and by traveling to College Station on October 19 to face the Aggies of A&M.
Pensky also noted the rise of SEC soccer in his comments on the team¹s schedule.
"The SEC in the sport of women's soccer just keeps getting better and better," said Pensky. "We look forward to this year's challenge of playing 13 league games."
Another point of interest for Coach Pensky is the team's non-conference schedule.
"We have a nice blend of regional opponents from the states of Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky and Alabama, to our west coast trip where we get to play Northridge and UCLA," said Pensky. "Certainly all of these games are going to be difficult, and if we're interested in being good, our consistency from the outset is paramount."
One change made to the 2012 season is the loss of exhibition preseason games. The team however refuses to view this as anything but a positive.
"Having no exhibition games is new for all of us," said Pensky. "We'll have 20 regular season games, which is in many ways a positive. We like to think of it as giving us more opportunities to win games. It's imperative that our players come into pre-season physically prepared to play games right away, as the lack of exhibition games can become an unforgiving predicament."
For a complete listing of the 2012 Tennessee soccer schedule be sure to click the 2012 Schedule link.