Jun 19, 2012 4:51 PM by Q2 Sports
Billings - Head coach Wojtek Krakowiak this week announced the 2012 schedule for MSUB's women. This year will mark Krakowiak's second season as head coach and third overall with the Yellowjackets.
Following a successful 2011 season in which the team went 11-3-4, MSUB returns the majority of their roster and hopes to build on last year's success in 2012. MSUB will play nine home games and a total of 18 in 2012.
The Yellowjackets start their season with the 10th Annual MSUB Cup at Yellowjacket Soccer Field. MSUB will play two games opening with the Colorado School of Mines on Friday, Aug. 31. Game 2 is Saturday against Northern State University.
Colorado School of Mines has traditionally done well in women's soccer. Last season they had a 17-2-4 record and finished nationally-ranked No. 5 and regionally-ranked No. 1 in the Central Region.
MSUB went unscathed in last year's Cup beating both opponents convincingly.
"We have a very challenging, but exciting schedule this fall including Colorado School of Mines who went to the quarterfinals in last year's NCAA Division II national tournament," Krakowiak stated. "We always want to test and push ourselves to play the best teams we can. Our strong non-conference games should prepare us for an always difficult GNAC schedule. Every game counts and there is no room for error."
Following the Cup games the ‘Jackets will travel to Phoenix, Ariz. to face two opponents on GCU Soccer Field. The first team standing in MSUB's path is Dixie State College. The Red Storm hail from St. George, Utah so this is a neutral site game for both teams. After their contest with Dixie State, the ‘Jackets face Grand Canyon University. This will be a challenging match for MSUB, the ‘Lopes went 5-1 at home last season.
The Yellowjackets start their Great Northwest Athletic Conference play with three straight home games. First on the list will be Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 3:30 p.m. SPU went 13-1 in conference play with their only loss coming by the hands of the ‘Jackets. The Falcons finished 2011 nationally-ranked No. 21 and in the West Region regionally-ranked No. 3.
After this bout, MSUB will play Central Washington University on Sept. 15. CWU will be anxious to play better in 2012 as MSUB blanked the Wildcats 3-0 in last season's contest at Yellowjacket Soccer Field.
The third opponent on the Yellowjackets first conference home defense is Saint Martin's University. This match-up takes place on Thursday, Sept. 20. MSUB will be anticipating this contest after last season's results when the Saint's edged out the ‘Jackets at Yellowjacket Soccer Field by one goal.
Following the three-game home-stand, MSUB heads west for their first conference road trip and will play three opponents in eight days. On Saturday, Sept. 22 the Yellowjackets will trek into Nampa, Idaho to battle Northwest Nazarene University. MSUB is familiar and comfortable playing in this environment, last season they defeated NNU 6-1 on the Crusaders' home turf.
For the second away conference game, the team will travel to Burnaby, B.C. to face Simon Fraser on Sept. 27. Even though the Clan went 1-11-2 in the GNAC last season, the ‘Jackets must remain focused and not look past any conference opponent.
MSUB will conclude the road trip with a bout against Western Washington University on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. pacific time. Bellingham, Wash. is a tough place to play for visiting opponents; the Yellowjackets battled the Vikings to a two overtime tie last season. WWU had a home record of 6-1-3 in 2011.
The second half of the conference schedule balances out for the ‘Jackets with four home games and four away matches.
NNU travels into the Magic City on Oct. 4 for their second contest against the Yellowjackets in 2012. MSUB looks to duplicate their 2011 performance at Yellowjacket Soccer Field where they beat the Crusaders 4-0.
Western Oregon University is next on the agenda for the ‘Jackets. Oct. 6 will be the first game between the two schools this season. The Wolves are a formidable opponent, playing to a 1-1 tie last season on the MSUB's home turf.
Following the bout with WOU the Yellowjackets will travel to Ellensburg, Wash. on Oct. 11 for their rematch against Central Washington. Then on Saturday, Oct. 13 MSUB will head into Seattle, Wash. for their second match against Seattle Pacific.
The rematch against Seattle Pacific will be difficult; however, the ‘Jackets defeated the Falcons on their home turf last season 1-0. If recent history holds true, Seattle Pacific will be as good as advertised.
MSUB comes back home after their pacific road trip to face Western Washington for a second time. This contest takes place on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. The ‘Jackets beat WWU at home last season and hope to repeat this same outcome, especially with the regular-season coming to a close.
Oct. 20 will be "Senior Day" and the final home game of the 2012 season. The ‘Jackets will face off against Simon Fraser for the second time this year.
The Yellowjackets will finish their GNAC schedule with a pair of road contests. MSUB will storm into Monmouth, Ore. on Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. pacific time to wrap up their season-series with Western Oregon. Historically Monmouth is a tough atmosphere to play in, however the ‘Jackets look to improve on their 2011 performance in which they tied the Wolves 1-1.
MSUB's 2012 regular-season will wrap up with a rematch against the Saint Martin's Saints on Saturday, Oct. 27. Last season, in Lacey, Wash., the Yellowjackets won convincingly 3-1.
The upcoming season will not only come with high anticipation because of the returning talent that the ‘Jackets have, but 2012 marks the first year the GNAC will have a conference tournament for women's soccer. The tournament will be held on Nov. 1 - Nov. 3 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
The winner of the GNAC Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
"We are really excited about the GNAC Tournament that will take place at Starfire Sports Complex," stated Krakowiak. "It will give our student-athletes more opportunities to compete at a high level and develop their talent."
To view live stats, home games and various road contests Yellowjackets' fans can go to the links provided on the women's team schedule page.