ASU releases 2014 soccer schedule

JONESBORO, Ark. ( - The Arkansas State University women's soccer team has announced its 2014 schedule for upcoming season, which features home games against schools from the Southeastern and American Athletic Conferences.

A-State will play 18 regular-season matches in 2014, including 10 home outings, nine nonconference matches and a nine-game Sun Belt Conference slate.

The Red Wolves return nine starters and 18 lettermen from a 2013 team that recorded a 10-7-3 overall record and advanced to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals for the second time in school history.

"Two consecutive winning seasons has been a stepping stone towards providing us with respectable status," A-State soccer coach Tafadzwa Ziyenge said. "Making it three in a row definitely puts us in an enviable position where winning is something that is expected out of future A-State soccer teams. Our non-conference schedule will be a tough challenge but rather than running away from it we look forward to facing the same stiff competition. The conference is always tough and unpredictable and 2014 will produce a more fierce battle, courtesy of the two outstanding new members joining us."

A-State kicks off the 2014 season with a road matchup at Murray State Aug. 22, followed by a three-game home stand that includes games against Tulsa, Central Arkansas and Mississippi State.

The regular season home opener will take place Sunday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m.against Tulsa, while the Bears will come to Jonesboro Sunday, Aug. 31.

Mississippi State, whom A-State defeated at home in 2011, will take on the Red Wolves Friday, Sept. 5. The month of September features six home games that include non-conference games against Mississippi Valley State (Sept. 12), Southeast Missouri State (Sept. 19) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Sept. 21). A-State's only two road games in the month are at Missouri State (Sept. 7) and at Southern Mississippi (Sept. 14).

The Red Wolves open Sun Belt Conference play at home against Texas State Sept. 26 followed by a clash with conference newcomer Appalachian State Sept. 28.

The month of October features a five-game road swing starting with a trip to Georgia Southern (Oct. 3) and Georgia State (Oct. 5), followed by matches at Louisiana-Monroe (Oct. 10) and at Louisiana-Lafayette (Oct. 12). The road trip comes to an end with a matchup against in-state foe UALR Oct. 18.

A-State concludes the regular season with a pair of home games against South Alabama (Oct. 24) and Troy (Oct. 26).

The Sun Belt Conference Tournament will take place Nov. 5-9 in Mobile, Ala., and will be hosted by the University of South Alabama.

Prior to the start of the regular season the Red Wolves will play two home exhibition matches. The squad will host St. Louis Friday, Aug. 15 and Memphis Sunday, Aug. 17.

A-State returns 64 percent of its scoring from the 2013 season as the Red Wolves notched school-records in points (114) and assists (36). The squad tied the record for most wins at home with seven and has won 20 matches over the last two seasons, the most during any two-year span in school history.