July 7, 2010
ROCHESTER, Mich. - The Oakland University women's soccer team released its 2010 soccer schedule, announced by head coach Nick O'Shea on Wednesday. The upcoming fixtures list includes home matches against Michigan, Michigan State and Dayton as well as a full Summit League slate in a schedule that features a total of 11 home dates.
"This will be the most home games we have had since making the transition to Division I," said O'Shea who enters his 17th season at the helm. "We will make a strong push to defend our home turf."
The Golden Grizzlies kick off the month of September with a five-match home stretch that includes a pair of games against teams that finished inside the top-100 Rating Percentage Index (RPI) last season. OU hosts Michigan (RPI 79) at the OU Soccer Field on Sept. 3 to kick off the home stand, before facing Dayton (Sept. 5) who finished last season ranked No. 25.
Continuing the home stretch, OU will face in-state foe Detroit at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas on Sept. 12, before returning to the OU Soccer Field to host Youngstown State and UMass on Sept. 17 and 19, respectively.
Oakland will also take on Michigan State (RPI 50) at the OU Soccer Field on Oct. 14. It is one of five matches against an opponent from within the state of Michigan.
"Our five games against in-state opponents should give us a good idea of how we stack up within the state," said O'Shea. "It's always great when we can play Michigan and Michigan State every year, along with Detroit because our fans really get into those matches."
The Golden Grizzlies will continue to face the best of the Summit League in 2010 with home dates against all four of last season's Summit League Tournament qualifiers. The team opens the league schedule on Oct. 1 against North Dakota State at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas before returning to the OU Soccer Field to face last season's Summit League regular-season champions, South Dakota State, on Oct. 3. The Grizzlies will also face defending tournament champion IUPUI at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas on Oct. 22, before playing the final home game of the year against Western Illinois on Oct. 24.
"The travel in this league can be very tough and we have some of the traditional power teams in The Summit League at home this year," said O'Shea. "We have done very well at home against conference opponents and if we can continue that trend, we have a great chance at competing for a regular-season championship."
Oakland continues to schedule a tough non-conference slate, including road games at Pittsburgh (RPI 69) on Aug. 29 at Western Michigan (Aug. 27) and Butler (Sept. 24).
"It will be nice to play some teams we have not played often in the past," said O'Shea. "UMass, Butler, Pittsburgh, Youngstown State and Rochester College are either new or have appeared very few times on our schedule."
The Golden Grizzlies will take on Valparaiso on Aug. 15 in a road exhibition match before starting the regular season against crosstown foe Rochester College on Aug. 21 at the OU Soccer Field.