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Friday, May 16, 2008

Soccer Log

Hunks of home action to begin, end women's season

The PC women's soccer team pinned its 2008 regular season schedule on the program's official website this week, slating an August 28 hosting to newly D-I intrastate rival Bryant University as the official start to their campaign.

Including a pair of pre-season scrimmages with Sacred Heart (August 19) and Northeastern (August 23), the Friars will affix their cleats to campus for their first six outings of the season -none of them factoring into their Big East stance. Providence will also take a night trip to Hartford on September 11 before yet another home outing opposite Davidson September 14.

The conference portion of the schedule will kick off with a September 19 journey to Cyclopean rival Connecticut, after which PC returns home for one last interleague go-around with A-10 member UMass-Amherst.

The 11-game Big East stretch drive will then go uninterrupted, starting with a September 26 home date with Marquette. It will then be time to make sure all bags and pouches are filled to the brim with food, water, and tools as they go beyond New England boundaries for the only five times of the season.

After a hasty trip to South Florida only two nights after the Marquette clash, a three-year long-time-no-see stretch with the likes of Cincinnati and Louisville will be pierced come the first weekend of October when the Friars make a first-time Ohio Valley excursion. They'll drop in on the Bearcats for a rare evening kickoff (7:00) on Friday, October 3 and follow up with a Sunday matinee across the river with the Cardinals.

PC has yet to have ventured into that area since Cincinnati and Louisville were admitted to the Big East in 2005. The Friars endured 3-0 and 1-0 losses to the Cards and Cats respectively at Glay Field during their first season as conference cohabitants.

The following weekend involves tackling defending conference champion West Virginia followed by a visit to Pittsburgh, where Providence is winless (0-2) since a 1-0 triumph in 2002.

Afterwards, though, in a return to the incidental norm, the Friars will be able to wrap things up with a four-game homestand, bringing in the likes of Notre Dame, DePaul, St. John's, and Syracuse. Since 2002, PC has lucked out with a prolonged tray of home dates to polish off their season with the exception of last season when they visited -and lost to- all four of the aforementioned insitutions.

As was the case in 2005, the Big East hunk of the schedule will omit any get-togethers with National Division tenants Georgetown, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Villanova. It will be the second straight season wherein the Friars don't cross paths with either the Hoyas or Wildcats, both of whom they tied on the road back in 2006.

Miscellany: Save for Davidson and Manhattan -scheduled to stop by on September 7- the Friars have faced all scheduled non-conference opponents in recent memory. Last season, they tied the UMass Minutewomen, 1-1, on neutral URI soil and scraped out their only non-conference win against Hartford, 1-0. They will host Stony Brook on August 31, less than two years after treating them to a scoreless draw at their place. On September 4, Holy Cross will pay its second visit to Glay Field in three years, having previously forged a 1-1 draw with the Friars on August 25, 2006.

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