GREENVILLE, N.C. --- Four games against 2009 NCAA Tournament participants and visits from Wake Forest and North Carolina State highlight the 2010 East Carolina women’s soccer schedule, revealed by 12th-year coach Rob Donnenwirth Tuesday.
“We have a very challenging schedule in 2010 and will continue to play top level teams outside of Conference USA,” Donnenwirth said. “I feel we have a good mix of experience and youth and we probably have the deepest team talent-wise that we have ever had. This will be important as we compete through the season. ”
The Pirates play a pair of exhibition games on the road at VCU and UNC Greensboro before lifting the curtain on the 2010 campaign August 22 against Francis Marion. ECU then welcomes NCAA quarterfinalist Wake Forest to Greenville for the first time since 2000 on Aug. 27.
Following a trip to Old Dominion on Sept. 3, ECU will return home for a first-ever meeting with Niagara on Labor Day, Sept. 6.
East Carolina is scheduled to play its first three home games of the year at North Campus Recreational Facility before hosting its first game at the new Olympic Sports Complex, Sept. 10 against N.C. State.
The Pirates and Wolfpack played to a 2-2 tie in Raleigh last season as they renewed their rivalry for the first time since 2000. The Wolfpack made its only previous visit to Greenville in 1999, which resulted in a 1-0 Pirate win.
ECU then plays its next two games on the road against CAA opponents. After a trip to 2009 champion UNC Wilmington, whom they beat in double overtime here last season, on the 16th the Pirates play their final non-conference match of the year at William & Mary on Sept. 19th.
Conference USA play commences for the Pirates on Sept. 24 against defending league champion UCF in Orlando. Other conference road games for ECU in 2010 include: Southern Miss (Sept. 26), Memphis (Oct. 8), UAB (Oct. 10), Houston (Oct. 15), Rice (Oct. 17) and Marshall (Oct. 28). Memphis was the only team from C-USA to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament last season.
“In C-USA play, we are going to be road warriors this year as we have seven road games and just four home games,” Donnenwirth said.
The conference home opener comes on Oct. 1 against SMU. The rest of the league home slate consists of Tulsa (Oct. 3), UTEP (Oct. 22) and Colorado College (Oct. 24).
The 2010 Conference USA Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 3-7 on the UCF campus.