MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State soccer team has announced its 2013 schedule, which includes nine home games at the Briner Sports Complex and a non-conference trip out West.
The Cardinals will spend the early part of their season at home, playing four of their first five games in Muncie after a road exhibition contest Aug. 16 at Butler.
The season-opening weekend features home games Aug. 23 versus Northern Iowa and Aug. 25 against Wisconsin-Green Bay. Ball State will visit IPFW on Aug. 30 before returning home to host two more games the following weekend, Sept. 6 against Eastern Illinois and Sept. 8 versus Tennessee Tech.
Ball State will then go on the road for nearly a month, beginning with contests in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 13 against Colorado College and Sept. 15 versus Air Force. Colorado College shared the Conference USA regular-season championship last year and played in the NCAA Tournament.
“We are very excited about the teams we will compete against in preparation for our conference season,” Ball State coach Craig Roberts said. “We have a good mix of quality opponents, both at home and on the road. Going out to Colorado will allow us to provide our student-athletes an educational experience as well as a highly competitive athletic competition.”
After wrapping up non-conference play Sept. 20 nearby at IUPUI, Ball State opens the Mid-American Conference slate with a road weekend, playing games Sept. 27 at Buffalo and Sept. 29 at Akron.
The Cardinals will play six of their 11 conference games on the road, with the remaining four coming at Eastern Michigan (Oct. 11), Western Michigan (Oct. 13), Bowling Green (Oct. 25) and Central Michigan (Oct. 27).
Ball State’s five MAC home games come against Kent State (Oct. 4), Ohio (Oct. 6), Toledo (Oct. 18), Northern Illinois (Oct. 20) and defending league champion Miami University (Oct. 31).
“Every team in our league will be eager to compete for the championship,” Roberts said. “It should be an exciting season with a number of teams in the mix, but we feel like we have built a strong foundation and are in a position to continue moving our program forward.”
The MAC Tournament will again feature the top eight teams in the conference with quarterfinal action set for Nov. 3. The semifinals will be played on Nov. 8 and the championship game on Nov. 10.
Ball State is looking to continue its climb under Roberts, who will enter his fourth season with the program. The Cardinals improved their winning percentage for the third straight year last season, finishing at 8-7-5 overall and posting their best conference record since 2007 at 5-3-3.
The Cardinals are also coming off a successful spring campaign, which included a victory over the Haiti Women’s National Team.