DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's soccer team will face three teams that qualified for the 2005 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship among its 18 games on the 2006 schedule, released by head coach Rob Thompson.
The Wildcats will open the season by hosting the 17th annual NIKE Fall Soccer Classic at Lewis Field, facing St. Peter's College on Friday, Aug. 25, and Cal Poly on Sunday, Aug. 27. Vermont, the two-time defending champion of the tournament, will also participate in the Classic for the 13th consecutive season.
UNH will compete in two more regular season tournaments, going to the Dartmouth Invitational to face Long Island University (Sept. 1) and the host Big Green (Sept. 3), the defending Ivy League champions, before opposing Central Connecticut (Sept. 8) and Cornell (Sept. 10) at the UVM Smith Barney/NIKE Classic.
After a match against Northeastern at Bremner Field (Sept. 15), the team embarks on a four-game road swing, beginning at Hofstra, the 2005 Colonial Athletic Association tournament champion, on Sept. 17. That is followed by a trip to Amherst, Mass., to face UMass (Sept. 20), then the Wildcats open America East play at Vermont (Sept. 23) and at Binghamton (Sept. 27).
The next three matches for the Wildcats take place in Durham, as UNH hosts conference rivals Maine (Sept. 30 - Lewis Field), Boston University (Oct. 4 - Lewis Field), and Albany (Oct. 7 - Bremner Field). After trips to Holy Cross (Oct. 10) and Hartford (Oct. 14), UNH concludes the home portion of the schedule against UMBC at Bremner Field on Oct. 18. The Wildcats finish the regular season at defending America East champions Stony Brook on Oct. 22.
The America East Men's Soccer Championship begins with first round matches on Oct. 28, followed by the semifinals on Nov. 1 and the finals on Nov. 4. The higher seeded team hosts all tournament matches, and UNH looks to get back to the tournament for the first time since 2004.
New Hampshire is coming off a 9-5-3 season and was ranked as high as 23rd nationally in 2005. The Wildcats finished fourth in the nation in lowest goals against average (0.57) and return 19 players from a team that set a school record with ten shutouts last year.
Click here for UNH Soccer Team schedule.