Abilene Christian's 2013 soccer schedule features a veritable grab bag of opponents. Thirteen of the Wildcats' 19 matches will be vs. NCAA Division-I opponents, while the remaining contests will be against some of the region's best NAIA squads plus familiar D-II rivals from Drury and Midwestern State.
ACU's first season as a member of the D-I Southland Conference commences Sunday, Aug. 25 at Oklahoma City University, which started last season 20-1 before being upset by UT-Brownsville, 2-1, in the first round of the NAIA Tournament. The Ocelots of UT-B, which made it all the way to the NAIA semifinals behind an overall record of 16-4-1, will serve as the Wildcats' first home opponent on Friday, Aug. 30 at 1 p.m.
ACU will play its remaining five non-conference matches on the road, starting with its first official D-I competition at Texas-El Paso. The Miners went 10-10 last autumn and finished 3-8 vs. Conference-USA. From there, the Wildcats will play at John Brown and Drury the weekend of Sept. 6 and 8 before renewing their longtime rivalry with Midwestern State on Sept. 10.
The Mustangs eliminated ACU from last year's Lone Star Conference postseason tournament less than a week removed from a 2-0 loss during the regular season finale played at the Wildcat Soccer Pitch. The two teams tied 1-1 in their most recent match in Wichita Falls, Texas.
MSU leads its all-time series vs. ACU, 7-5-1. ACU has won all five of its matches vs. the Mustangs since Nov. of 2010.
The Wildcats' Southland Conference slate begins the weekend of Sept. 20 and 22 at home vs. Sam Houston State and Houston Baptist. Additional home conference matches include Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts on Oct. 4 and 6, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Incarnate Word on Oct. 18 and 20.
The Cardinals went 1-1 vs. the Wildcats during their last season together in the Lone Star Conference, keeping their all-time series tied at 3-3-1.
Houston Baptist also is new to the Southland following several seasons as part of the Great West Conference. The Huskies posted a 10-7-3 record last season, while the UIW Cardinals finished 9-8-1.
ACU will play the Southland's best teams all on the road, beginning with third-place Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 29 followed by the defending champions from Stephen F. Austin on Oct. 13. The Wildcats play at runner-up Lamar on Oct 25 before closing their season two days later at McNeese State.
Additional conference road matches include Nicholls State (Sept. 27) and Northwestern State (Oct. 11).
Information for this story provided by ACU Athletics.