Story courtesy: ACU Athletics
Head coach Casey Wilson and the ACU women’s soccer team announced its 2020 schedule Friday, and the season officially begins Thursday, Aug. 20 at Texas Southern down in Houston. The annual Purple/White Intrasquad game takes place Friday, Aug. 7 at Elmer Gray Stadium. The one exhibition match takes place in Waco against Baylor on Saturday, Aug. 15. Overall, the schedule encompasses 18 matches, including 11 Southland Conference games, and another seven non-conference matches. ACU will line up against four teams that participated in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
“When it come to scheduling out here in west Texas, we are surrounded by a lot of high profile programs,” said Wilson. “So, it makes sense to play the teams close by. We want to schedule in a way that makes us tougher in the long run if we come out healthy. We are very excited about our 2020 season.”
2020 Opponents By The Numbers
– 4: Games against 2019 NCAA Tournament teams
– 5: Teams in the top 100 in RPI (Rating Percentage Index)
– 5: Total states ACU’s opponents reside in, including Texas
– 4: Power five matchups
– 3: Teams in the top 50 in RPI
Six-Pack of August Games
– The annual Purple/White Intrasquad game opens the year on Friday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.
– The team heads to Waco for a date with Baylor on Saturday, Aug. 15 for an exhibition match.
– The regular season opens Thursday, Aug. 20 in Houston against Texas Southern of the SWAC, who finished with just six wins a season ago.
– The first home game of 2020 happens on Sunday, Aug. 23 against Conference USA’s UTEP, who finished with 10 wins and a top-160 RPI in 2019.
– ACU then caps the first month with a tournament in Lubbock on Friday, Aug. 28, where it will take on two NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago. The first one is against last year’s NATIONAL SEMIFINALIST Washington State. The Cougars made it all the way to their first COLLEGE CUP in San Jose last year, and won a program-record 16 games. Washington State fell to No. 2 ranked North Carolina, who lost in penalty kicks to Stanford in the national championship game.
– The Lubbock tournament ends with the host Lady Raiders of Texas Tech on Sunday, Aug. 30. Tech finished 27th in RPI and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a 15-4-3 record, falling to Michigan, 3-2.
– September kicks off with a road date in Starkville, Miss. To match up with the SEC’s Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday, Sept. 4. This marks the second time in less than a calendar year ACU will play Mississippi State in athletics; football did so to close the 2019 season last November. Mississippi State finished 8-8-3 last year, but with an RPI of 87.
– The Wildcats travel to Monroe, La. on Sunday, Sept. 6 to face ULM, and the teams square off to cap Labor Day weekend.
– ACU then caps the non-conference schedule in style with the Texas Longhorns coming to Abilene on Sunday, Sept. 13. The match kicks at 2 p.m. and it will be the second-straight season ACU hosts a power-five school from the Big 12; No. 22 Baylor came to Elmer Gray last year and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Texas finished 11-8-1 and fell in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament to Texas A&M last season.
– Conference begins Saturday, Sept. 19 at home against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and in an unusual turn of events, is right in the middle of a four-game home stand.
– ACU hosts Texas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Lamar, and McNeese all in a row to close September. With two bye weeks in that span, the Wildcats will only be out of Abilene a grand total of four days the entire month.
– Lamar is a big home date on Sept. 25, with the Cardinals being the defending regular-season and tournament champions of the league with a 16-7 record.
– The McNeese game will be a revenge opportunity for ACU, as the Cowgirls knocked the ‘Cats out of the Southland Conference Tournament last November.
– For as much fun as it will be at home in September, October is a little different. ACU has just three games in Abilene, and will be on the road five times. A three-game road swing opens the month on Oct. 2, 4, and 10, at SFA, Sam Houston State, and Houston Baptist.
– ACU then hosts Nicholls on Friday, Oct. 16, and that night will be ACU’s Senior Night recognition. The Wildcats enter 2020 with nine seniors: Christina Arteaga, Elizabeth Folsom, Brittney Harris, Haleigh Heath, Mary Moore, Megan Paul, Isa Sanabria, Erin Smith, and Gabby Symmank.
– Southeastern Louisiana comes to town on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. to wrap up the quick two-game home stand.
– ACU then heads to both Northwestern State and Central Arkansas on Oct. 23 and 25 before closing the regular season with UIW on Friday, Oct. 30. UIW comes to Abilene for a 7 p.m. kick.
– The 2020 Southland Conference Tournament begins Wednesday, Nov. 4 and culminates on Sunday, Nov. 8. Site, times, and more are to be determined.
– Of the four power-five opponents on ACU’s schedule, Washington State, Texas Tech, and Texas all made the NCAA Tournament.