SAN ANTONIO (July 20, 2017) – The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's soccer team has released its 2017 schedule. The Saints, who closed out their 2016 season ranked No. 25 in the NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Top 25 Poll, have 19 games on the calendar, including two scrimmages, seven nonconference games and 10 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) competitions.
Head Coach Arthur Salazar said, "I'm looking forward to the upcoming season. Having to replace our graduating class from last year is going to be a challenge, but I'm confident our returners are capable of making the transition. Historically we've been fortunate to have a group of highly competitive players, and our incoming class looks to be able to provide a similar mentality that could contribute straight away. It will be a good test of mental and physical toughness to make sure the team dynamic continues to uphold the culture and standards set by previous groups."
The Saints will begin their season with the annual Soccer Alumni Weekend Aug. 19-20. They'll welcome alumni who have played on Saints' teams between their inaugural 2008 season through last year.
The Saints' schedule kicks off with scrimmages on Aug. 21 against Texas Lutheran University in Seguin and on Aug. 24 against Jacksonville College at home. On Aug. 28, OLLU will host NCAA D3 Schreiner University.
The Saints will welcome Sooner Athletic Conference's Oklahoma City University on Sept. 1 and Sept. 3. The teams will play on that Friday at noon, and the Stars will play a neutral game against RRAC's University of St. Thomas on Sunday at 12 p.m.
The team will travel to Siloam Springs, Ark., Sept. 7-9 for games against Sooner's John Brown University and Oklahoma Wesleyan University from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The women return to host Sooner's Wayland Baptist University on Sept. 18.
The Saints will be defending the RRAC regular season title, which they have won the last four years, as the conference schedule begins. On Sept. 23, they will travel to Austin, Texas, to play Huston-Tillotson University. On Sept. 26, the Saints will go three miles west to NCAA D2 St. Mary's University for the Third Annual Halo Classic. The teams are 1-1 in this rival series with the Rattlers winning the inaugural game in 2015 2-0 and the Saints winning last season 2-0.
OLLU will return to its RRAC schedule with home games on Sept. 28 against Jarvis Christian College, Sept. 30 against Texas College, Oct. 5 against Wiley College and Oct. 7 against Texas A&M University – Texarkana.
The women will be on the road for the next four games. Conference games are on Oct. 12 at Hobbs, N.M. versus the University of the Southwest, Oct. 19 at Houston versus the University of St. Thomas and on Oct. 21 in Victoria versus the University of Houston-Victoria. On Oct. 14, the Saints will play a nonconference game in Dallas against Paul Quinn College.
The Saints close out their regular season on Oct. 26 and Oct. 28. They will host LSU-Alexandria on Thursday and LSU-Shreveport on Saturday. This day will be dedicated to seniors Maggie Miller (SR/Manhattan, Kan.), Grayson Manfredo (SR/Round Rock, Texas) and Allysa Barrientos (SR/Arlington, Texas).
The Saints have also won the last four tournament titles, and this upcoming year, the event will take on a different landscape. After playing in Houston with St. Thomas as hosts for the past several years, the tournament will move to northeast Texas with Texas A&M University – Texarkana as host. Six teams will qualify for the tournament, with first rounds played at the third and fourth seed's fields Nov. 3-4. The semifinals commence on Nov. 9, and the championship game will be on Nov. 10.
The RRAC champion receives an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship Tournament. The first rounds of nationals will begin Nov. 18, and the national tournament in Orange Beach, Ala., will take place Nov. 27-Dec. 2.
Home games will be livestreamed and will feature live stats. Follow the team on social media using #OLLUSoccer.