KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's men's soccer team has 18 games on its slate this year, including seven of those at home. The Broncos, under second-year head coach Chad Wiseman, were the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament runners-up a year ago.
"The schedule is much more balanced than a year ago," Wiseman says. "Our non-conference schedule should be very challenging playing two opponents from both the Big Ten and Big East. The eight opponents we play on our home field should be exciting games for our supporters to watch. By the time we compete in the MAC portion of the schedule, we will be prepared for anything."
WMU warms up to its 2014 campaign with two preseason matches, hosting Cornerstone University Aug. 19 and traveling to Kentwood for an exhibition against Oakland University at Pat Patterson Stadium Aug. 23.
The season officially gets underway Aug. 29, when the Broncos square off against in-state counterpart the University of Detroit-Mercy at the newly renovated WMU Soccer Complex. WMU heads to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne for the first road match Aug. 31 and travels to Chicago for a tournament with Loyola and DePaul universities on Sept. 5 and 7, respectively.
Three of the next five games are at home, hosting Butler and Eastern Illinois universities Sept. 12 and 14, respectively, before playing the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Summit League Tournament runner-up Western Illinois University on the road. WMU returns to Kalamazoo for a Sept. 26 outing against Northern Kentucky University.
Other notable non-conference matchups include trips to Big Ten rivals the University of Michigan Oct. 1 and Michigan State University Oct. 15. The Broncos also travel to Ohio for a bout against the University of Dayton on Oct. 23.
Mid-American Conference matchups
The first MAC game for WMU will be an Oct. 10 road trip to the University at Buffalo.
Northern Illinois will come to Kalamazoo Oct. 18 before the Broncos head to the University of Akron Oct. 25 in a rematch of last year’s regular season and tournament championship. The remaining two MAC games include a trip to Bowling Green State University on Nov. 1 and the regular season finale at home against West Virginia University on Nov. 8.
The top four teams in the league will earn a spot in the MAC semifinals, scheduled for Nov. 14. Winners advance to the MAC Championship game on Nov. 16. Both of those games will be played at campus sites. WMU has appeared in the MAC Championship game three of the last four seasons.