Virginia Tech women’s soccer releases challenging 2016 schedule
BLACKSBURG, Va. (Via Virginia Tech University) – Virginia Tech women’s soccer coach Chugger Adair has announced the 2016 schedule, a challenging slate that features a staggering 11 teams that competed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
The 10-match home slate is highlighted by a game on Sept. 25 against national finalist Duke. The Hokies will be working toward earning their ninth consecutive NCAA berth.
“This is a very well-balanced, challenging schedule,” Adair said. “Non-conference is going to be very challenging and very competitive for us, which should prepare us for the ACC.
“We open up with two very strong, competitive SEC schools in LSU and Mississippi State, then come home for ECU and local rival JMU on the road, which is always a challenge. Then we have Ohio State, a big one for us, which knocked us out of the tournament and then at William and Mary. Many of those are tournament teams that we will have to be ready to play. We also host a tournament here with Boston University, Indiana and JMU. Boston University is always a team that is in the mix for the tournament and Indiana has been growing over the years. It is going to be very challenging.”
Following a home scrimmage with Miami of Ohio on Aug. 9, the Hokies open the season in the College of Charleston Tournament on Aug. 19 and 21, to play 2015 NCAA Tournament competitor LSU in the first game and Mississippi State.
The home opener is the following week, as East Carolina comes to Thompson Field on Aug. 26 for a 7 p.m. match. This match begins a string of four consecutive matches against teams that competed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Following the home opener, the Hokies head up the road to Harrisonburg to face JMU.
Ohio State, which defeated the Hokies in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, comes to Thompson Field on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. Tech then travels to Williamsburg to face William & Mary on Sept. 4.
Tech then hosts the VT Women’s Soccer Tournament on Sept. 9 and 11, as they welcome Boston University and Indiana to town. JMU also competes in the event. Tech finishes the non-conference portion of the slate on Sept. 13 as they host Longwood.
“The ACC is no doubt the most challenging, difficult conference in the country,” Adair added. “You have traditional powerhouses and up-and-comers. Every match is going to be a challenge.”
The always-tough ACC campaign begins on Friday, Sept. 16, as the Hokies travel to Charlottesville to take on archrival Virginia. The match takes on more meaning this season, as the Hokies and Cavaliers did not meet in the 2015 season. Tech then travels to Chapel Hill to take on UNC on Sept. 22.
“Opening up at UVa and UNC, two traditional powers,” Adair noted. “UVa, our rival, which we didn’t play last year, is a very well organized, well-coached team. It’s going to be a huge challenge right off the bat and then going to North Carolina, will be a fun opportunity for us. Coming back home in the ACC, we host Duke and Clemson, both tournament teams. Duke was in the finals last year and will be gunning for us. Clemson has a very good side, returning a number of seniors. Then back on the road for a long road trip and the conference tournament just gets tougher.”
Tech returns to Thompson Field for home ACC matches against national runner-up Duke and nationally ranked Clemson on Sept. 25 and Oct. 1, respectively. A road trip to Syracuse on Oct. 6 and Boston College on Oct. 9 precedes a pair of home matches with Louisville and Notre Dame. Tech then plays its final ACC road match at Miami before closing out the regular season at home against Wake Forest on Oct. 27.
The ACC Tournament will take on a new look this season, as the top eight teams will advance to the tournament, with home sites utilized in the quarterfinals on Oct. 30. The semifinals and finals will be held on Nov. 4 and 6 at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
The Hokies look to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth consecutive year. The 2016 College Cup will be played on Dec. 2 and 4, back in Cary at the WakeMed Soccer Park.
“It’s a good, exciting schedule that’s well-balanced, but will be the bear that it is year-in and year-out,” Adair concluded. “We’re looking forward to it and we will be up for the challenge.”