By: Jill Wunrow
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - New Green Bay men's soccer coach Dan Popik has announced his team's 2012 schedule which features two tournaments on the road, Big East Blue champions in Marquette, Pac 12 opponent Oregon State and in-state rival Wisconsin from the Big Ten conference.
For the first time since the 1981 season, Green Bay will open its season with three games on its home field. In 2010 the Phoenix opened with a pair of home games (vs. DePaul and Oregon State) but this season marks just the second time since moving to Division I that Green Bay will open with three home games.
Friday, Aug. 24 Green Bay kicks off its season hosting Great Lakes Valley Conference runner-up Northern Kentucky at 7 p.m. at Aldo Santaga Stadium. It will be the first meeting between these two programs.
The Phoenix will have a short time to prepare for Big East Blue Champion Marquette Sunday, Aug. 26 at 3:00 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2007 with Green Bay owning an overall series record of 21-13-4.
Northern Illinois will conclude the opening three-game homestand Friday, Aug. 31 at 7:00 p.m. The contest will mark the first time members of both squads meet with the most recent series game being played in 2005. The Huskies, who hail from the Mid-American Conference, have a slight 12-15-8 series edge over the Phoenix and advanced to the second round of last season's NCAA Tournament.
The next four games will be played away from the confines of home field with the first stop being at Niagara Sunday, Sept. 2 at 12:00 p.m. Green Bay will look to avenge last season's 2-0 loss against the Purple Eagles in the Green Bay Soccer Classic.
For the first time since the 2006 season, Green Bay will play in two regular season tournaments beginning Sept. 7 in the Dayton Tournament. The Phoenix will face the host Flyers at 6:30 p.m. before concluding the tournament with Missouri State Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10:00 a.m. Owning a 2-1-0 series record including a thrilling 2-1 double overtime win in last season's Green Bay Soccer Classic, it will be the fourth time Green Bay and Dayton meet. The Phoenix will look for the series edge over Missouri State with an even 2-2-0 record against the Bears.
Friday, Sept. 14 Green Bay will wrap up its four-game road stretch as it battles Detroit in its Horizon League opener at 4:00 p.m. at Titan Field in Detroit, Mich. The Phoenix is 6-0-2 against Detroit throughout its last eight games.
The Phoenix returns home to host SIU-Edwardsville Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m. before heading west for its second regular season tournament. Green Bay will face host Oregon State in its tournament Sept. 21 before concluding with its first meeting against Gonzaga Sept. 23 at 9:00 a.m.
Green Bay's 2012 Horizon League opponents include Wright State (Sept. 29), Milwaukee (Oct. 3), regular season-champion Valparaiso (Oct. 6), tournament champion Loyola (Oct. 13), UIC (Oct. 20) and Cleveland State (Nov. 3). The Phoenix hosts Wright State for its annual alumni day and also entertains in-state rival Milwaukee, UIC and Cleveland State.
Green Bay will break up Horizon League play with a nonconference battle against in-state rival Wisconsin Wednesday, Oct. 17 in Madison at 7:00 p.m. The Phoenix has won the last three regular season contests against the Badgers and also captured a spring game battle against the rival.
UW-Parkside will visit Aldo Santaga Stadium for an exhibition game Thursday, Aug. 16 at 7:00 p.m.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.