Soccer Unveils Exciting 2004 Schedule
June 15, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. - Ten teams that qualified for the 2003 NCAA postseason tournament, including two of the final four teams, will test the Arizona State soccer team during the 2004 season, fourth year head coach Ray Leone announced Tuesday.
Probably the most demanding and exciting schedule since the program's inception in 1996, the Sun Devils will be challenged right from the start as they open the season against NCAA semifinalist Florida State on August 27 in Tallahassee. After a match against Rhode Island, also in Tallahassee, ASU will travel to Provo, Utah to face NCAA quartefinalist BYU. The Devils will then return home for their season-opener against national power Notre Dame on September 10.
The following weekend of September 17-19, ASU will host the Sun Devil Invitational, a competitive four-team field that includes NCAA Tournament participants Oklahoma and Dartmouth.
The Sun Devils round out their tough non-conference slate with road trips to UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine before returning home to take on San Diego State. ASU then makes a quick trip to Las Vegas for their final non-conference match against UNLV on October 3.
'This a great non-conference schedule,' said Leone. 'This kind of schedule will definitely have us prepared for the Pac-10. Our team looks forward to the challenges that lie ahead.'
Arizona State opens Pac-10 Conference action at home against Washington and Washington State on October 8 and 10 respectively. The Devils will also host in-state rival Arizona and conference powers UCLA and USC before ending the regular season at the Oregon schools.
Last year, Arizona State (13-5-3; 6-2-1 Pac-10) advanced to the NCAA Championship second round for the third time in the past four years and recorded the highest winning percentage in school history (.690). Additionally, ASU's second place Pac-10 Conference finish and its six conference wins were all-time records for the program. The Sun Devils also set another school mark as they finished the season ranked in the top-25 by all four major polls (Soccer America #14/Soccer Buzz #17/SoccerTimes.com #19/NSCAA #22).