Bears set to open the Betty & Bobby Allison North Stadium on Sept. 4
June 17, 2014
SPRINGFIELD - A year after being road warriors, the Missouri State field hockey team will welcome a seven-game slate at home sweet home.
The field hockey Bears announced their 2014 schedule on Tuesday (June 17), a 19-game docket that includes contests against three 2013 NCAA Tournament teams, seven matches at the new Betty & Bobby Allison North Stadium, nine matches on the road and three contests at neutral sites. The seven home games is the most the program has hosted since it played eight games at Plaster Field during the 2010 season.
The schedule is highlighted by the opening game at the Betty & Bobby Allison North Stadium on Sept. 4, a 4 p.m. non-conference match against the UC Davis Aggies. The stadium, located at the corner of Holland Avenue and Harrison Street, will have a seating capacity of 250.
The Bears will follow up that contest with another home game by continuing its long-standing series with Saint Louis on Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. The Bears will dedicate their new field prior to the match and have a history of success against the Billikens, as they've won 11 of the last 13 meetings and own a 61-28-2 all-time advantage in the series.
The pair of home-opening games is bookended by two road trips. Prior to the two-game homestand, the Bears will open the year with a three-game trip to the East Coast. That swing kicks off with the season opener at Monmouth (West Long Branch, N.J.) on Aug. 29, then continue the next day with a noon tilt at Rider in Lawrence Township, N.J. The Bears close the trip by visiting Villanova on Sept. 1.
A five-game road trip is scheduled to take the Bears through Ohio, Virginia, Missouri and Iowa from Sept. 18-28. That trip will commence with a road match at new Mid-American Conference affiliate member Longwood in Farmville, Va.
Head coach Gabby Gomez Sosa's squad will continue its Virginia trip with two more games on enemy turf, first playing James Madison on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m., then 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifier Liberty on Sept. 21 at noon. A three-game swing back to the Midwest follows when the Bears close the home-and-home schedule at Saint Louis on Sept. 23, take on Saint Francis (Pa.) in a neutral-site game at St. Louis on Sept. 27, then head north to Iowa City on Sept. 28 for a road match at Iowa at 1 p.m.
The Bears will close the year by playing five of their last seven contests at home, including three conference games. MSU welcomes MAC foe Kent State on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m., then will challenge non-conference opponent Davidson on Oct. 5 at 11 a.m.
After a trip to Ball State for an 11 a.m. conference game on Oct. 11, the Bears return home from Oct. 17-24 for its final three games at the North Stadium. They'll first take on MAC rival Central Michigan on Oct. 17 at 4 p.m., then play La Salle on Oct. 19 at 11 a.m. and another conference game versus Miami (Ohio) - the MAC representative in the 2013 NCAA field - on Oct. 24 at 4 p.m.
A trip to Athens, Ohio closes the regular season, as the Bears will take on Ohio in conference action at 1 p.m. on Oct. 31 before closing the slate at the same location in a neutral-site game versus Wake Forest - a 2013 NCAA Tournament squad - on Nov. 1 at noon.
The top four teams in the MAC regular-season standings will advance to the MAC Tournament, which will be hosted by Kent State Nov. 7-8 in Kent, Ohio.
The Bears had a 4-12 record in 2013 and have 13 returning student-athletes, including All-MAC second team selection Charlie Redhead.