May 26, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee women's soccer team and Head Coach Angela Kelly announced its 2009 schedule on Tuesday. The fall slate is highlighted by the 10th First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic and matches against nine 2008 NCAA Tournament teams.
"The Tennessee philosophy each and every year is to become the best that we can be," Kelly said. "If we are to do this on the field, we must play the best out of conference, out of region competition possible. The upcoming season is no different."
UT will kick off Kelly's ninth season at the helm with an exhibition against 2008 NCAA quarterfinalist Duke before beginning the official campaign on Aug. 22. Tennessee will play host to East Tennessee State in Knoxville for the opener which will mark the teams' first meeting since 1998.
The Orange and White will then welcome Kansas, Pepperdine and Arizona State for the First Tennessee Classic at Regal Stadium on Aug. 28 and 30. The Jayhawks and Waves will open the weekend before the Lady Vol season opener against the Sun Devils on Friday night. ASU will face KU in Sunday's early game, followed by a meeting between Pepperdine and Tennessee for the second straight year. The Lady Vols will be looking to avenge last season's 2-0 loss to the Waves in Malibu, Calif.
Tennessee's first road trip of the fall slate will take it to Minneapolis, Minn., where the defending Big 10 regular season champion Golden Gophers await for a Friday night meeting on Sept. 4. The two squads last faced off in Knoxville on Sept. 2, 2007, as the Orange and White claimed the 1-0 win. Minnesota is coming off an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and 22-win season in 2008. The Lady Vols will cap the trip to Minneapolis with a match against Wisconsin on Sept. 6, marking the first encounter between the teams.
"I have a ton of respect for both Minnesota and Wisconsin and understand that we will be playing in an extremely difficult environment there," Kelly said.
Returning home on Sept. 11, Tennessee will meet Memphis, another 2008 NCAA Tournament team and the back-to-back Conference USA Tournament champions, for just the third time in program history. The Big Orange will play host to Western Carolina on Sept. 13, to close out the final homestand of the nonconference portion of the schedule. The Catamounts fell to UT, 3-0, in Knoxville last season but went on to win the Southern Conference Tournament and make their second NCAA Tournament appearance.
UT will wrap up the nonconference slate against a familiar opponent in West Virginia. The Lady Vols travel to Morgantown on Sept. 20 to meet the Mountaineers for the third time in the last six years. Tennessee will be looking for its first ever win over WVU after falling, 1-0, to the Mountaineers in last year's First Tennessee Classic.
"Both Pepperdine and West Virginia will be very talented and have proven to be difficult opponents in the past," Kelly said. "We also have regional matches versus Memphis, Western Carolina and ETSU, all before we enter the conference portion of the schedule, which is always a challenge."
The 2009 Southeastern Conference schedule will kick off on Sept. 25, when the Lady Vols will travel to Arkansas, followed by a Sunday match at LSU. Tennessee will be looking to improve on its last trip to Fayetteville and Baton Rouge in 2007 which ended with a 3-0 loss to the Tigers and a 1-1 draw with the Razorbacks.
The Orange and White's season-long five-game road swing will end with trips to Vanderbilt and Kentucky on Oct. 2 and 4, respectively. The Lady Vols will be out to avenge a 1-0 home loss to the Commodores in 2008 while the Wildcats will be looking for their first win over UT since the 2006 SEC Tournament.
On Oct. 9, Tennessee begins its longest homestand of the season, kicking things off against Mississippi State, followed by a meeting with Ole Miss on Oct. 11. The following weekend, the Lady Vols welcome 2008 SEC regular season champ Florida and South Carolina to town. The Gators snapped a three-game losing streak to UT last year, while the Gamecocks have posted three straight victories over the Orange and White.
Thursday, Oct. 22 will serve as Senior Day for Tennessee as it welcomes Auburn to Regal Stadium for a 7 p.m. tilt. After falling to the Tigers in double overtime during the 2008 regular season, UT bounced back 10 days later to knock Auburn out of the SEC Tournament in the first round.
With its home season behind it, the Big Orange will hit the road to face Alabama on Oct. 25 before heading to Georgia on Oct. 30. The regular season finale will serve as the first rematch of the 2008 SEC Tournament Championship game which saw the Lady Vols top the Bulldogs, after falling to UGA, 3-0, on Senior Day at Regal Stadium.
The 2009 SEC Tournament is slated for Nov. 4-8, at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex in Orange Beach, Ala. Tennessee will be looking to defend its fourth conference tournament crown and make its ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
"The team has been preparing for this schedule since November of last year," Kelly said. "We are eager to get underway and looking forward to the challenges the schedule will present."
2009 Lady Vol Soccer Schedule
|Aug. 15||Duke**||Knoxville, Tenn.||4 p.m.|
|Aug. 22||East Tennessee State||Knoxville, Tenn.||7 p.m.|
2009 First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic
|Aug. 28||Kansas v. Pepperdine||Knoxville, Tenn.||5:30 p.m.|
|Aug. 28||Arizona State||Knoxville, Tenn.||8 p.m.|
|Aug. 30||Arizona State v. Kansas||Knoxville, Tenn.||12:30 p.m.|
|Aug. 30||Pepperdine||Knoxville, Tenn.||3 p.m.|
|Sept. 4||Minnesota||Minneapolis, Minn.||8 p.m.|
|Sept. 6||v. Wisconsin||Minneapolis, Minn.||12:30 p.m.|
|Sept. 11||Memphis||Knoxville, Tenn.||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 13||Western Carolina||Knoxville, Tenn.||2 p.m.|
|Sept. 20||West Virginia||Morgantown, W.Va.||1 p.m.|
|Sept. 25||Arkansas*||Fayetteville, Ark.||8 p.m.|
|Sept. 27||LSU*||Baton Rouge, La.||2 p.m.|
|Oct. 2||Vanderbilt*||Nashville, Tenn.||8 p.m.|
|Oct. 4||Kentucky*||Lexington, Ky.||2 p.m.|
|Oct. 9||Mississippi State*||Knoxville, Tenn.||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 11||Mississippi*||Knoxville, Tenn.||2 p.m.|
|Oct. 16||Florida*||Knoxville, Tenn.||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 18||South Carolina*||Knoxville, Tenn.||2 p.m.|
|Oct. 22||Auburn*||Knoxville, Tenn.||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 25||Alabama*||Tuscaloosa, Ala.||3 p.m.|
|Oct. 30||Georgia*||Athens, Ga.||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 4-8||SEC Tournament||Orange Beach, Ala.||TBA|
* Southeastern Conference match
Home matches in bold
All times Eastern