COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies will face one of their most challenging slates in program history in 2014 as the squad announced their schedule on Wednesday. The defending SEC Tournament title holders and regular-season co-champions have set a 19-match course for the upcoming campaign.
The slate includes 12 matches on the friendly pitch of Ellis Field. Season tickets are currently on sale at the 12th Man Foundation web site (http://www.12thmanfoundation.com/ticket-center/soccer.aspx ).
The 2014 campaign will include four teams who finished ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25, including Florida (10), South Carolina (15), Marquette (16) and UCF (22), all booked for Ellis Field.
The non-conference slate figures to be one of the toughest on record for the Aggies. All eight opponents finished in the Top 100 in the final RPI last season with Arizona being the lowest rated team at 83. Marquette (6), UCF (13), Stephen F Austin (51), Arizona State (60), Illinois State (66), Florida Gulf Coast (67), Dayton (70) and Arizona finished last season with an average RPI of 52 compared to last year’s eight non-conference opponents owning an average RPI of 101.
“This is a really tough schedule, but exactly the kind of challenges that motivate our players and coaching staff,” head coach G Guerrieri said. “Expectations are understandably high for this team, and we will probably have a big target on our back by everyone we play, which is fun and exciting. I’m especially looking forward to playing 12 regular season games at Ellis Field, in front of the 12th Man.”
The season commences on Friday, August 22 when the Aggies host the Dayton Flyers in a 7 pm contest at Ellis Field. The Maroon and White also have non-conference home matches scheduled against Stephen F Austin (8/24), UCF (8/29), Illinois State (8/31), Florida Gulf Coast (9/11) and Marquette (9/14).
The Aggies will travel to the backyard of three-year starting goalkeeper Jordan Day as they will participate in Arizona State’s Sun Devil Classic. They will open the tournament against the Arizona on September 5 and two days later they will face the tournament host in a game to be televised on Pac-12 TV.
Texas A&M opens SEC play on Thursday, September 18 when the Aggies host the Tennessee Volunteers in a 7 pm match that will be the Maroon and White’s first-ever match televised on the SEC Network.
The Aggies also have home league matches listed against Florida (10/3), Kentucky (10/5), Auburn (10/17), South Carolina (10/26) and Georgia (10/30). The contest with Kentucky will be televised on ESPNU.
The Maroon and White hit the road for conference matches at LSU (9/26), Ole Miss (9/28), Vanderbilt (10/10), Mississippi State (10/19) and Arkansas (10/24). The Vanderbilt tilt is slated for the SEC Network.
The Aggies will also embrace a monumental challenge in their lone exhibition of the fall as the Maroon and White will travel to California for a match against defending national champion UCLA on Friday, August 15.