FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Head coach Colby Hale and the University of Arkansas soccer team has released its schedule for the upcoming 2014 season. The Razorbacks’ schedule features 10 home games at Razorback Field and seven opponents that played in last year’s NCAA tournament. Arkansas enters the season off a trip to the Final Round of Sixteen in the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance. “We open with Utah State and Oklahoma State,” Hale said. “Utah State has been to two of the last three NCAA tournaments and OSU has been to seven of the last nine NCAA Tournaments and the Elite 8 twice.” Arkansas begins its season August 14 with an exhibition match against Creighton and faces Utah State and Oklahoma the following weekend at Razorback Field. The Razorbacks will then head to the East Coast to take on powerhouse programs North Carolina and Duke, who ended Arkansas’ Cinderella run in the 2013 NCAA tournament, in Durham, NC, on September 5 & 7, respectively. The non-conference slate will also include games against Texas (August 29), Stephen F. Austin (August 31) in Austin, Texas before the Razorbacks return home to take on Rice (September 12) and Missouri State (September 14). “We then head to Texas and play the University of Texas and Stephen F Austin,” Hale said. “Our historical rivalry with the Longhorns matched with two-time defending Southland Conference Champions SFA will provide a great test. We then go to Duke to square off against nationally ranked Duke and 21-time National Champions, UNC. We finish at home against perennial power Rice and regional rival Missouri State.” Arkansas will face three league rivals who also saw postseason action in 2013 in their SEC home schedule, which includes matches against Kentucky (September 19), Vanderbilt (October 3), Florida (October 5) and Auburn (October 19). The Razorbacks host Texas A&M, who joined Arkansas in the Sweet Sixteen, on Friday, October 24, to close the regular season home slate. The remainder of the Razorbacks’ conference slate includes road games at Ole Miss, LSU, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi State and Missouri. At the end of the regular season, the top-10 teams in the league will travel to Orange Beach, Ala., for the 2014 SEC Tournament. The conference tournament will take place November 3-9 at the Orange Beach Sportsplex. “We continue to push our competitive experience forward and commit to leaving a championship legacy,” Hale said. “Scheduling is an important component of that. We have to marry, RPI considerations, with preparation for conference, with student-athlete experience and welfare and travel. We couldn’t be more excited about this schedule.”
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