Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State head women’s soccer coach Freddy Delgado released the 2017 schedule Thursday morning.
The 2017 schedule features 10 home matches, six during the non-conference slate and four during Western Athletic Conference play. The Aggies are also battling it out on the pitch with four teams for the first-time in program history in Alcorn State, Colorado State, Grambling State and SMU – all road games.
“We are excited for what could be an unprecedented season,” Delgado said. “We have several decisive home matches, including rivalry games against UTEP and UNM. We also host tough conference opponents in CSU Bakersfield, Grand Canyon and UMKC.”
NM State’s season and home opener pits them against Battle of I-10 rival UTEP at 5 p.m. (MT) on Aug. 18 before sending them on the road immediately to take on Northern Illinois two days later at noon on Sunday, Aug. 20. Delgado and the Aggies won’t have too much time to rest as they play host to Battle of I-25 rival New Mexico at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24.
New Mexico State then heads north to open the month of the September against Colorado State (Sept. 1) and Northern Colorado (Sept. 3). The Aggies and Rams continue their battle in different sports lately, this time on the pitch. NM State will also get challenged against the Bears, who went 10-8-2 overall last year.
The Aggies then return home for a four-match homestand that’ll feature a pair of 10-plus wins teams beginning on Sept. 8 with Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks finished second in conference play with a 9-2 record and 13-5 overall mark in 2016. NM State then wraps up its weekend with Incarnate Word on Sept. 10.
Northern Arizona (Sept. 15) and Houston (Sept. 17) make their return trips to Las Cruces the following week after the Aggies made stops to Flagstaff and Houston back in 2016. NM State looks to protect its home field when the Lumberjacks and Cougars square off against the Aggies.
New Mexico State will get a nice break before it heads to the heart of Texas for a 4 p.m. battle with SMU (Sept. 29). The Mustangs went 13-7-2 overall last season and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament where they faced off against No. 25 Oklahoma.
The Aggies then return home for a three-match homestand, starting with Arizona Christian at 2 p.m. on Oct. 2 before opening WAC play later that same week.
“The schedule was centered on our team’s preparation for a competitive WAC schedule,” Delgado said. “Games against opponents like UTEP, SFA and Northern Arizona will prepare us for physical, hard-nosed battles. Games against opponents like UNM, Northern Colorado, Houston and SMU will prepare us for the more tactical, strenuous matches.”
The conference slate opens with CSU Bakersfield (Oct. 6) and Grand Canyon (Oct. 8) at the NM State Soccer Complex.
After the opening weekend of WAC action, the Aggies take their show on the road versus Utah Valley (Oct. 12) and Seattle U (Oct. 14) before closing out the road swing with Chicago State (Oct. 20). NM State concludes the regular-season with senior day on Oct. 22 against UMKC followed by a trip to UT Rio Grande Valley (Oct. 28) the following week.
Conference tournament, Nov. 1-5, action in 2017 is scheduled to take place in Phoenix with Grand Canyon playing host. Championship match is slated for Sunday, Nov. 5, with the winner earning the WAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“Overall, the team is older, wiser and more experienced,” Delgado said. “The body of work from the non-conference schedule will prepare us to make a run deep into the WAC Conference Tournament.”