COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s soccer head coach Lori Walker announced the Buckeyes’ schedule for the 2011 season Wednesday. Home highlights include the Buckeyes’ first matchup with perennial national power North Carolina at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium since 2001 and games against 2010 NCAA tournament qualifiers Dayton and Illinois.
The 2011 schedule includes eight NCAA participants from a year ago and three teams that advanced to the Sweet 16.
The Buckeyes, 2010 NCAA semifinalists and Big Ten champions, take on Xavier and Radford Aug. 19 and Aug. 21, respectively, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to open the season. After an Aug. 26 trip to take on Missouri in Columbia, Mo., the Buckeyes host Wright State Aug. 28.
Ohio State will go to West Virginia, a 2010 Sweet 16 team, Sept. 1 before hosting North Carolina, Walker’s alma mater, Sept. 4. The Tar Heels, 2008 and 2009 NCAA champions under the direction of head coach Anson Dorrance, finished last season with a 19-3-2 record after losing to Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.
The Buckeyes then have a week off before hosting Ohio Sept. 11 and wrapping up the non-conference slate Sept. 14 against Dayton, a team Ohio State knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the second round on penalty kicks last season.
A trip to Minnesota, a Sweet 16 team last season, is set for the Big Ten opener Sept. 18. The Buckeyes then return home to take on another NCAA participant, Illinois, in the conference home opener Sept. 23 before hosting Northwestern Sept. 25. The Illini defeated Ohio State, 2-1, last season in Columbus.
A tough weekend at rival Penn State Sept. 29 and Wisconsin Oct. 2, a pair of NCAA participants last season, awaits the Buckeyes before a trip to Purdue Oct. 9. Ohio State then hosts Iowa Oct. 13 and new Big Ten member Nebraska Oct. 16. It will mark the first matchup between the Buckeyes and Cornhuskers.
The Buckeyes hit the road for the final time in the regular season to face Michigan Oct. 21 and Michigan State Oct. 23 before the regular season finale against Indiana Oct. 30.
The Big Ten tournament, back for the first time since 2008, will be played Nov. 2-6 in Evanston, Ill., on the campus of Northwestern.
A few notes about the Buckeyes 2011 opponents:
Game times that are still to be determined will be announced at a later date.