Tough Challenge Awaits In 2006
May 23, 2006
LAS VEGAS - 2006 UNLV Women's Soccer Schedule
The UNLV women's soccer team, two-time defending Mountain West Conference Champions, will face five teams that played in the 2005 NCAA Tournament on their 2006 schedule, released on Tuesday.
The Rebels, who have also earned two straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, will play one of the toughest schedules in program history under second-year head coach Katherine Mertz. The challenge will start right from the beginning, with UNLV opening the season on the road against a pair of Pac-10 teams in the Washington State Tournament, the first of four Pac-10 teams the Rebels will face on the road in 2006.
"I'm very excited with this schedule, it's a very good schedule for both RPI and strength of schedule," said Mertz. "It will also be a good test for our MWC season, and should be a measurement for where we are and what we'll need to do to defend our conference title."
"While it is a tough schedule to undertake, I feel we have a great core of returning players coming back to the team, and combined with a very talented group of recruits, we are fully capable of having success with this schedule."
UNLV will play its season opener on Friday, Aug. 25, at Washington State in the first game of the Washington State Tournament in Pullman, Wash., and will follow with a match against Oregon State on Aug. 27. The Rebels then return home to host back-to-back tournaments on the following two weekends. First up is the UNLV adidas Classic on Sept. 2, featuring Oakland, UC Irvine, and New Mexico. The next weekend will be the UNLV Rebel Classic on Sept. 8 and 10, with participating teams including Arizona State, Denver, and UCF.
The Rebels will then play five straight on the road, with the first two in the state of California, against San Diego (Sept. 15) and at USC (Sept. 17). UNLV will play in the Blue Jay Classic the weekend of Sept. 22-24, opening against North Dakota State before facing the host Creighton team. The final non-conference games will be back-to-back against 2005 NCAA teams, at Arizona State on Sept. 29, and at home against Pepperdine on Oct. 1.
UNLV will begin MWC play at Utah on Oct. 7. For the second straight year, the Rebels play four conference games on the road, including at teams that finished first, third, and fourth in the league standings in 2005. The first conference home game will be against New Mexico on Oct. 13, a rematch of the 2005 MWC Tournament championship game, while UNLV will end the regular season at BYU on Oct. 28. The MWC Tournament will be held this season in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Nov. 1-4.