COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Tigers officially open the 2012 season on Friday, Aug. 17 with a home contest against No. 11/14 Memphis at 6:30 p.m. at Walton Stadium. Mizzou then hosts UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m., also at Walton Stadium. Missouri, under the direction of 17-year Head Coach Bryan Blitz, was picked to finish fifth in the SEC East.
THIS WEEKEND'S PROMOTIONS
Friday Web Wednesday - Bring this printout and receive free admission to the game Youth Club Day - All youth club players who wear their jerseys will receive free admission
Sunday Daddy/Daughter Day - A daughter receives free admission with the purchase of dad's ticket Youth Club Day - All youth club players who wear their jerseys will receive free admission Soccer Jersey Day - All fans who wear a soccer jersey will receive free admission
UP NEXT Mizzou travels to Berkeley, Calif., to face the California Golden Bears on Sunday, Aug. 26. The contest, which will kickoff at 5 p.m. CT (3 p.m. PT), will air on the Pac-12 Network.
FRIDAY MARKS HISTORIC GAME Friday's game against Memphis marks Missouri's first official athletic event as a member of the Southeastern Conference. Mizzou officially became a member of the league on July 1, 2012, after the SEC announced on Nov. 6, 2011 that the Tigers would join the conference in the 2012-13 season.
The soccer program spent its first 16 years as a member of the Big 12 Conference, including winning the 2008 Tournament and 2009 segular season titles.
MIZZOU PICKED FIFTH IN THE SEC EASTERN DIVISION The Tigers were selected to finish fifth in the Eastern Division in the SEC Preseason Coaches' Poll, announced on Aug. 9.
Florida was selected tops in the Eastern Division by garnering 90 total points (12 first-place votes). Georgia and South Carolina tied for second in the East with 70 points each. South Carolina returns six starters from a team that won its first SEC regular season championship with a 9-2-0 league record in 2011. Georgia returns nine starters from a team that posted a 13-7-2 mark (6-3-2 in SEC play) last season.
In the West, Texas A&M was first with 89 total points (12 first-place votes), just ahead of LSU's 74 points (two first-place votes). Texas A&M earned its 17th-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth in 2011, ending last season in the second round with a 16-6-2 record. LSU returns six starters from last year's team won the Western Division with an 8-3-0 record.
1. Florida (12)
2. South Carolina
1. Texas A&M (12)
2. LSU (2)
5. Ole Miss
7. Mississippi State
PLENTY OF FAMILIAR FACES The 2012 Mizzou soccer team returns nine starters and 15 letterwinners from the 2011 team that finished with a 12-8-1 record, including three Tigers who received all-conference honors a year ago: junior forward Alyssa Diggs (All-Big 12 first Team), junior midfielder Dominique Richardson (All-Big 12 second team) and sophomore forward/midfielder Kaysie Clark (Big 12 All-Newcomer Team).
Additionally, the Tigers return six of the top seven scorers from a season ago, including 76.4 percent of its scoring and 79.2 percent of its total points. Overall, Mizzou's 2012 returners combine for a total 277 starts in their Missouri careers, most notably 180 of the 231 available starts in 2011.
2012 SLATE The 2012 Tiger schedule features contests against seven teams that Mizzou has never faced before: UCBS, Tennessee Tech and new conference foes South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and LSU.
Overall, Missouri has a combined 19-21-5 record against opponents on this year's schedule.
CLARK NAMED TO TOP DRAWER'S SEC TOP 20 Sophomore Kaysie Clark was named to Top Drawer Soccer's list of top 20 players in the SEC. The forward/midfielder, the only Tiger named to the list, was ranked eighth in the conference. She was joined on the list by three players from Texas A&M, two players from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee and one player each from Kentucky and Ole Miss.
MIZZOU ON TV IN 2012 The 2012 schedule features three regular season games on television. The Tigers' road match against South Carolina on Sunday, Sept. 16 will air live on ESPNU at 1 p.m. CT. The contest will also be streamed on WatchESPN. This marks the fifth consecutive season Mizzou will appear on ESPNU. Last season the Tigers defeated Oklahoma, 5-2, on the channel and the 2008, 2009 and 2010 games with Texas A&M also aired on the channel.
On Thursday, Oct. 25, Missouri's road matchup with Texas A&M will air live on SportSouth at 7 p.m. CT. SportSouth is a regional network, however the game will also be made available on ESPN3.com.
Additionally, Mizzou's game against Cal on Aug. 26 will air live on the Pac-12 Network.
The 2012 SEC Tournament final will also be broadcast on ESPNU. The championship match will be played on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2:30 p.m. CT. The Tournament, which starts on Oct. 29, will be held at the Orange Beach Soccer Complex in Orange Beach, Ala.
SCOUTING MEMPHIS Memphis opens the 2012 season ranked 11th in Soccer America's preseason poll and 14th in both the NSCAA and Top Drawer Soccer's preseason polls. The Tigers were selected to win their sixth-straight Conference USA title in a preseason poll.
Junior midfielder/forward Christabel Oduro, a NSCAA All-America third team selection in 2011, is Memphis' leading returning scorer after notching 39 points on 16 goals and seven assists last season. Additionally, three other returners posted at least 12 points in 2011: junior midfielder/forward Natalia Gomez-Junco (1), sophomore forward/ midfielder Kaitlyn Atkins (15) and redshirt sophomore midfielder Kelley Gravlin (12).
SCOUTING UCSB UC Santa Barbara travels to Walton Stadium after opening its season at Kansas on Friday at 5 p.m. The squad posted a 7-11-2 record in 2011, including a 2-6 mark in Big West Conference play.
Senior Dyanne Anderson led the Gauchos with four goals and an assist for nine points as a junior. Senior Erin Ortega, an All-Big West second team selection, was second on the team with eight points. Junior goalkeeper Makenna Henry started all but one game in net in 2011 and recorded a 1.30 GAA.