COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – For his second season at the helm,
Tennessee Tech soccer coach Daniel Brizard has put together a
20-match schedule for his 2011 Golden Eagle squad which includes
seven home contests and one new opponent.
Brizard announced the schedule this week. He said the schedule
will be competitive while allowing his youthful squad a chance to
“This is a challenging, well-balanced schedule for what we
are trying to accomplish,” Brizard said. “None of these
opponents stands out as a ‘powerhouse’ but there are no
easy teams on the schedule, either. There are a lot of
‘winnable’ matches, but every time we play it will be
Brizard likes the caliber of the non-conference opponents.
“The non-conference teams are similar to our conference
teams, so those matches should really help us prepare for the OVC
schedule,” he said. “We’ll prepare for those
matches and play just as if they are in our conference.”
The most difficult portion of the schedule comes early, when Tech
plays seven road matches in a row.
“We play seven consecutive road matches and we go 27
straight days with a home match,” Brizard said.
“It’s not unusual to have two weeks in a row on the
road, but by the time we get to our third week on the road
we’ll really need to stay focused even more.”
The 2011 Golden Eagles will feature 15 returnees from spring plus
the addition of eight signees. The addition of all those new
players really increases the importance of the team’s early
exhibition match at Alabama A&M on Aug. 11.
“We’ll play a lot of intersquad, but it will be
nice to take our team and compete against someone else,”
Brizard said. “It will give us a different kind of
competition, and give us a chance to work out our kinks.”
After that “tune-up” in Huntsville, the Golden
Eagles get the regular season underway with a pair of home contests
against familiar foes. Tech hosts UT Chattanooga on Friday, Aug.
19, for the season opener, before Belmont visits on Sunday, Aug.
“The UTC match will be a very good opening test for us.
Chattanooga is a like-minded program, and we have the benefit of
playing them at home. We’re familiar with their players, and
we know they work very hard. We will need to be prepared.
“Belmont will give us an early indication of the future of
the OVC,” Brizard said of the Bruins who will join the league
in 2012-13. “They have a new coach, and we played them in the
spring. It should be the end of a really competitive
The long road stretch starts with matches at East Tennessee (Aug.
26) and UNC Asheville (Aug. 28), then continues in Jacksonville,
Ala., where Tech plays two matches including a brand new opponent.
Tech meets Louisiana Tech on Friday, Sept. 2, then faces New Mexico
State for the first time on Sunday, Sept. 4.
The road swing continues with a journey to the Commonwealth of
Virginia to face Longwood (Sept. 9) and Radford (Sept. 11). The
final match in the seven-match road stretch is closer to home when
the Golden Eagles play at Middle Tennessee State on Friday, Sept.
Tech’s final non-conference contest brings Lipscomb to
Cookeville on Sunday, Sept. 18.
The following weekend, Tech begins its nine-match OVC schedule
with a tough road trip to Eastern Illinois (Sept. 23) and league
newcomer SIU Edwardsville (Sept. 25). Tech also faces OVC road
tests at Jacksonville State (Oct. 7), UT Martin (Oct. 28) and
Southeast Missouri (Oct. 30).
The home portion of the OVC schedule has the Golden Eagles hosting
Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 30), Morehead State (Oct. 2), Murray State
(Oct. 14) and Austin Peay (Oct. 16).
The first place team during the regular season will host the
six-team OVC Tournament, Nov. 3-6, with the winner advancing to the
NCAA Tournament, starting Nov. 11.
Admission to all of Tennessee Tech’s regular season home
matches is free.