Men’s Soccer Announces 2024 Schedule

SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State men’s soccer head coach Michael Seabolt has announced the 2024 season schedule which will include 16 regular season matches across eight games at home, seven on the road and one neutral site outing. The Bears will be one of nine Division I teams aiming to reach their sixth straight NCAA Tournament.

“We are super excited about the fall 2024 season and representing Missouri State University, Springfield and our supporters,” Seabolt said. “We feel we have one of the most challenging schedules in the country and aim to remain nationally elite. It will be important to take each match one game at a time so that we remain mindful of short, medium and long-term goals.”

As usual, the Bears will begin play in the fall with three exhibition matches at Betty & Bobby Allison Stadium before the start of the regular season. Missouri State will open with two matches against Newman University and Oral Roberts (Aug. 13) and conclude exhibition play against Lindenwood (Aug. 16).

Missouri State will open the regular season on the road for the second consecutive year as it travels to take on UC Santa Barbara (Aug. 22) for the second time in three season openers. The Bears and the Gauchos played to a 1-1 draw in the 2022 season opener in Springfield.

The Bears will hold their regular season home opener to start a three-game homestand on Aug. 27 against the Rockhurst Hawks at Betty & Bobby Allison South Stadium. The two teams recently faced off in Springfield at the end of Missouri State’s spring exhibition season on April 13.

Missouri State will then play the second half of two home-and-home series against Kansas City (Sept. 2) and Tulsa (Sept. 6) in Springfield. MSU defeated Kansas City, 1-0, on the road in August of last season. MSU then battled Tulsa to a 1-1 draw last season at Hurricane Stadium almost exactly one year prior. 

The schedule shifts back on the road to former Missouri Valley Conference foe Central Arkansas (Sept. 10) in a battle of the Bears for the first time since 2021. Missouri State has won the last three regular season matches against UCA. The teams played on April 6 as part of their spring exhibition schedule.

“We focused in the spring of 2024 on being Bears,” Seabolt said. “We have always had a strong team and family identity, but we wanted to reinforce that. Being a cohesive team is a huge part of being on the front foot on the field as well.”

The Valley season gets underway with a string of three conference matches starting with an MVC home opener against Bradley (Sept. 15). The Bears own a 15-match winning streak against the Braves, including six straight clean sheets. Missouri State scored a season-high six goals in a shutout win last season in Peoria.

The Bears will begin a three-match road trip with their first conference away game against UIC (Sept. 21). The two battled to a scoreless draw in Springfield last season as top 25 teams in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. 

Another tough test will come in the form of the defending MVC champion Western Michigan (Sept. 28). The Broncos enter their second season in the conference following back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Sweet 16. The Bears will return to the site of last year’s MVC Tournament with a chance to take down a Broncos team that ended last season ranked No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll.

Missouri State will end its road trip with its one neutral match of the regular season against Creighton (Oct. 1) at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City. The two teams played a fall exhibition match at the facility last season and played each other in the 2021 and 2022 NCAA Tournaments.

The Bears return for one home match in a 35-day span with a bout against Northern Illinois (Oct. 6) in what will be the NIU’s first-ever regular season match in Springfield. MSU quickly hits the road again to take on Belmont (Oct. 12) in Nashville.

A break in the MVC schedule comes with a road match against Memphis (Oct. 15) of the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers defeated the Bears, 1-0, at Betty and Bobby Allison Stadium last October and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament thanks to a win against then-undefeated SIUE in the opening round.

Missouri State gets another long homestretch near the end of the season starting with Bowling Green State (Oct. 20) in the third-ever matchup between the teams and second as conference opponents. The Bears then have a premier match against Saint Louis (Oct. 23), hosting the Billikens for the first time after playing the first 15 matches of the rivalry on the road.

Senior Day for the Bears will be on Nov. 1 against Evansville, exactly one year to the day from last year’s senior festivities. The regular season will end against Drake (Nov. 6) for the second straight season, this time on the road in Des Moines.

“Please come out and support your Bears men’s soccer team as we play for you,” Seabolt said.

The 2024 MVC Men’s Soccer Tournament will begin with the quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 10 at higher-seed sites and continue with the No. 1 seed hosting the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov, 13 and the championship match on Saturday, Nov. 16.
 

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