Story courtesy: Prairie View A&M Athletics
On the heels of a season for the record books, reigning Southwestern Athletic Conference soccer champion Prairie View A&M announced its 2021 schedule.
The Lady Panthers will look to navigate a 12-match slate as they embark on their title defense, with home and away matches split evenly at eight each.
“I have been able to organize a schedule for 2021 that will be challenging and will improve our women’s soccer program as we grow to a higher level,” PVAMU Head Soccer Coach Sonia Curvelo said. “I added an opponent that we did not face last season, which is Stephen F. Austin. I expect our women’s soccer program to compete and challenge each opponent we have on our schedule. Every year is a new year, with new goals and records to achieve. I want all my players to grow as people and players from their experience. We are returning 16 players from last season with new additions. Most of the core will be made up of our sophomores, juniors, and a small senior class.”
Prairie View A&M begins the season with a pair of home matches starting with Incarnate Word to open the season on Feb. 5, a contest designated as Student and Fan Appreciation Day. On Feb. 7, PVAMU hosts Stephen F. Austin for a Black Out Game. From there, PVAMU hits the road for a Valentine’s Day match at Sam Houston State.
“Sam Houston State will be a great local match,” Curvelo said. “We played them in the spring 2019 and won 1-0, and then we played them in the fall of 2019 and lost 1-0. So, this game will allow us to break up the tie. It will be a good test for our program to see where we are and where we have grown over a year.”
After a near two-week break, the Lady Panthers open the SWAC portion of the slate with four road matches, starting with a Feb. 26 battle at perennial contender Grambling State. PVAMU follows with a Feb. 28 contest at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and the following weekend the Lady Panthers visit Alcorn State (March 5) and Mississippi Valley State (March 7).
After a brief respite, the Lady Panthers return to the pitch to begin a four-match homestand. Prairie View A&M hosts Southern during Alumni Night on March 19 and will take on Jackson State March 21 in what is set to be the Lady Panthers’ chance to Lace up in Gold for Kids.
The Lady Panthers’ Senior Night and Family Weekend will be March 26, when they host title contender Alabama State. On March 28, the Lady Panthers welcome Alabama A&M during Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day. Prairie View A&M then closes the regular season at arch-rival Texas Southern (April 2).
“The conference slate will be a great challenge as well, as it’s much more challenging to win in two consecutive seasons,” Curvelo said. “The message I’m sending to my team is that we are still not at the top, we still have a lot of room to grow and we have to keep that mindset. We have added new players, we are a different team that can be stronger. We can choose to be as good as we want to be as long as we stay focused, committed, and disciplined in improving our program.”
The Lady Panthers will once again host the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship on the campus of Prairie View A&M the week of Nov. 8-11.