Eight challenging home matches, plus road matches at opponents from the Southeastern, Mid-American and Sun Belt Conferences, and Conference USA highlight the 2011 Morehead State soccer schedule, released this week by third-year coach Warren Lipka.

    The Eagles are coming off back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference regular season championships and set school victory records last year while winning the OVC tournament title too.

    “Every match on our 2011 schedule will be a challenge, especially our nine conference matches. With our past success we will be playing with a target on our back every match. We must be prepared to play every time we step on the field, but I feel like we have a solid team returning and the non-conference matches we have scheduled will, as always, prepare us to battle for another league championship,” said Lipka.

    In Lipka’s first two seasons MSU has not lost an OVC regular-season match, going 12-0-4.

    The Eagles begin on Aug. 14 at Indiana State for an exhibition match and then kick off the regular season on Aug. 19 at Valparaiso. While Valpo football competes in the Pioneer Football League with MSU’s gridiron team, the Crusader soccer team competes in the highly competitive Horizon League. MSU will finish a quick season-opening road trip with a match at regional rival Miami University on Aug. 21.

    On Aug. 26, MSU opens up a three-match non-conference homestand with MAC opponent Kent State. The Eagles will also host Gardner Webb (Sept. 3) and Evansville (Sept. 4) before venturing back out on a four-match road trip.

    The trip begins at Ohio University on Sept. 9 and continues at Marshall Sept. 11. The Eagles swing south to face Sun Belt member South Alabama on Sept. 16 and face off against SEC power Alabama on Sept. 18.

     OVC rival Eastern Kentucky opens the league portion of the schedule for the Eagles on Sept. 23. MSU will also host Southeast Missouri (Oct. 7), UT Martin (Oct. 9) and Murray State (Oct. 28) in OVC matches. The final non-conference match in Jayne Stadium is set for Oct. 23 when Longwood visits.

     The Eagles will face OVC foes Jacksonville State (Sept. 30), Tennessee Tech (Oct. 2), SIU Edwardsville (which begins counting as a league match this season – Oct. 14), Eastern Illinois (Oct. 16) and Austin Peay (Oct. 30) on the road.

     Ticket information, including season ticket packages for soccer, is available by calling the MSU ticket office at 783-2386.

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