Tech soccer schedule features 19 matches, nine at home in 2008

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Nine home matches, including non-conference contests against Vanderbilt and Appalachian State, plus Ohio Valley Conference visits from perennial powers Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri, highlight the 2008 Tennessee Tech soccer schedule.

First-year head coach Becky Fletcher announced the schedule this week. It includes an exhibition contest to get things underway and 19 regular season matches leading up to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in early November.

"Our 2008 schedule is very competitive," Fletcher said. "We have some great non-conference match-ups that will prepare us for a tough OVC schedule. I'm looking forward to the freshman class arriving and starting pre-season."

The Fletcher Era begins on August 19 with an evening exhibition match at Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn.

The regular season gets underway with three consecutive road matches, starting in Atlanta against Georgia State (Aug. 23). Following contests at Winthrop (Aug. 29) and UNC Charlotte (Aug. 31), the Golden Eagles return to Cookeville for their first home match.

The home opener is Friday, Sept. 5 with a 4 p.m. contest against Appalachian State. Tech hosts Vanderbilt on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 1 p.m.

Back on the road for the next three, Tech plays matches at Bowling Green State (Sept. 12) and Toledo (Sept. 14), then visits Chattanooga (Sept. 17) for a 5 p.m. match.

Once back on familiar turf, Tech opens a four-match homestand that includes the start of the OVC schedule. It begins with non-conference matches against UNC Asheville (Sept. 21) and future OVC foe SIU-Edwardsville (Sept. 25), before Jacksonville State visits (Sept. 28) to initiate the league slate.

Tech also hosts Eastern Kentucky (Oct. 3) in that homestand as the Golden Eagles face a stretch of eight consecutive league encounters. That string includes matches at Morehead State (Oct. 5) and Austin Peay (Oct. 10), home contests with Eastern Illinois (Oct. 17) and Southeast Missouri (Oct. 19), and road trips to UT Martin (Oct. 24) and Murray State (Oct. 26).

The regular season wraps up with a home match against Lipscomb (Oct. 29), before the OVC Tournament. The first round is played Nov. 4 at campus sites, while the finals will be held Nov. 7 and Nov. 9 at the site of the regular season champion.

Admission to all of Tech's home matches is free.