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University of Portland Announces Women's Soccer ScheduleSalem-News.com Sports
Portland has led the nation in attendance for nine consecutive seasons.
(PORTLAND, Ore. ) - The Portland women's soccer team will open the 2014 season with a trip east to battle 2013 NCAA runner-up Florida State before returning home to host Stanford to begin what should be another challenging schedule for the Pilots.
This year's schedule features nine home matches at Merlo Field, five games against 2013 NCAA playoff teams and three games each against teams from the ACC and the Pac-12. After facing Kentucky in an exhibition match at Merlo Field on Saturday, August 16, the Pilots travel to Florida to officially open the 2014 season against the Seminoles on August 22. Florida State went 23-2-3 overall last year before succumbing 1-0 in overtime to UCLA in the national title game. The Seminoles have reached nine straight quarterfinals and have made it to the College Cup seven times. The Pilots, who lead the all-time series with the Seminoles 3-2, have made one previous trip to Tallahassee, Fla., which was a 2-1 FSU win in 2006. While in the neighborhood, the Pilots will also face North Carolina State, another ACC foe, on Sunday, August 24 in Raleigh, N.C. This will be the third meeting ever between the two schools and the first since 1996. Next comes Portland's regular season home opener against the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night, August 30. Stanford has gone 109-10-5 during the last five seasons, has claimed four Pac-12 titles and reached four College Cups. Last season ended in the third round of the NCAA playoffs against eventual national champion UCLA. The Pilots and Cardinal have met three times in the last four years and the two West Coast rivals played to a 1-1 draw last year in Stanford, Calif. The Pilots will then travel to Seattle, Wash., for the 2014 version of the Husky Invitational (Sept. 5-7). While on the UW campus, Portland will face Dartmouth for the first time before battling Wisconsin of the Big Ten Conference. The Badgers are an NCAA tourney regular, reaching the postseason 17 times overall and three times during the past five years. The Pilots are 3-0-1 all-time against Wisconsin, which includes a 2-0 win most recently in Seattle in 2010. This year's Nike Portland Invitational (Sept. 12-14) features the ACC's Miami Hurricanes and reigning Mountain West Conference Tournament Champion San Diego State. Friday night the Pilots will face the Hurricanes before a Sunday match with the Aztecs, who are coming off consecutive trips to the NCAA Playoffs. Washington, as usual, will also take part in the Nike Invite. The Pilots then wrap up the non-conference schedule with road games at Oregon State (Sept. 19) and at Seattle (Sept. 25) before a home date against UW (Sept. 28). The Pilots have won 28 of 31 previous meetings with the Beavers, who have reached the postseason three times since 2009. The visit to Seattle, who is the reigning WAC Champions, will be a re-match of last year's NCAA First Round game at Merlo Field, which the Pilots won 2-0. UP and UW have a lengthy history, which dates back to 1982. The Pilots and Huskies have met on the pitch a total of 36 times, with the Pilots winning 27 of those games, including a 3-0 shutout in Portland's favor last year in Seattle. Washington missed the playoffs last season but has reached the postseason four times in the past six years. The West Coast Conference will once again provide a challenging slate as three league teams reached the NCAA post-season last year. The Pilots begin their defense of the WCC crown by playing second-year league member Pacific at Merlo on Oct. 3. Saint Mary's follows the Tigers to The Bluff for a game on Oct. 5 before Portland heads on the road to face BYU (Oct. 9) and San Diego (Oct. 12). The Cougars, who shared last year's league title with Portland and Santa Clara, advanced to the NCAA Second Round last fall, which was the program's 15th visit overall to the postseason. Next comes Portland's final two home matches of the season against Pepperdine (Oct. 24) and LMU (Oct. 26). Pepperdine will be looking to return to the postseason after missing out last fall, and the Pilots will celebrate senior day prior to the game against the Lions. The Pilots then end the regular season with three straight road games. First comes a trip to the Bay Area for games at San Francisco (Oct. 31) and at league rival Santa Clara (Nov. 2). The Pilots and Broncos have combined to win 20 WCC titles and the Broncos reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last season. Portland then travels to Spokane, Wash., for the regular season finale against Gonzaga on Nov. 8. The 2014 NCAA playoffs begin with first round action on Nov. 14-16 at campus sites, while the NCAA College Cup will be played December 5-7 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Portland has led the nation in attendance for nine consecutive seasons. The Pilots will return 12 letterwinners and seven starters from a team that reached the second round of the 2013 NCAA Playoffs.
Portland won the program's 13th conference title last fall and the Pilots have reached at least the second round of the NCAA Postseason for 14 straight season.
The Pilots have made the playoffs during 21 of the last 22 seasons, they've reached eight College Cups and Portland won the NCAA National Championship in 2002 and 2005.
Source: University of Portland Athletics
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