(Editor’s note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – It will be a busy fall for the Montana State University Billings men’s soccer team, which unveiled its 2019 schedule on Friday.
The Yellowjackets have 23 total dates scheduled, including 19 regular-season contests and 12 Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches. “We are all excited for the fall of 2019,” commented interim head coach Thomas Chameraud, who will begin his seventh season overall on the coaching staff and first as the lead man. “We built a competitive schedule, and we will have to be up for it right from the get-go.”
The ‘Jackets play exhibition matches at Rocky Mountain College on August 23, at Carroll College on August 30, and at home against the University of Providence on September 1. MSUB will also host its annual alumni game at Yellowjacket Field on August 25.
The regular season gets underway on September 5-7, with matches against Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona hosted by Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. MSUB then makes its 2019 regular-season home debut with the Sixth Annual Rimrock Classic in Memory of Trevor Wildberger, running September 13-15. The ‘Jackets will host Humboldt State on September 13, and South Dakota School of Mines two days later. “This will be our last year playing Cal Poly and CSUSB, and it is time for us to get a positive result,” Chameraud commented on facing a pair of strong west region teams for the fourth consecutive season. “Then we will be back home for the Rimrock Classic, which is a very special tournament for us. We will look forward to having Trevor’s parents, Jon and Tammy, on the bench with us.”
MSUB’s final non-conference road trip will run September 21-23, when the ‘Jackets play Eastern New Mexico and the University of Mary in a pair of games in Bismarck, North Dakota. The Marauders will then turn around and drive to Billings the following weekend, to take on MSUB and close out the non-conference season.
“Our trip to Bismarck will be another challenging one, and once again we will have to bring back positive results in order for us to have a successful season,” Chameraud commented on the team’s final non-conference matches. “We will look to compete right away against the tough teams in our conference, and in order for us to be in the hunt for the GNAC title, we will have to find consistency in our performances.”
The Yellowjackets start their GNAC slate with four straight road matches consuming October 3-12 on the calendar. The team’s longest road stretch of the year will be immediately followed by a lengthy five-game home stand, which will run October 19-November 2. The ‘Jackets begin the set of games at Yellowjacket Field against reigning conference champion Simon Fraser on October 19, before playing last year’s conference runner-up Western Washington on October 24.
The final road trip of the year will feature matches against the same two teams, as MSUB plays at SFU on November 7 and at Western Washington two nights later. The final regular-season game is scheduled for November 14, with MSUB hosting Seattle Pacific University.
The GNAC regular-season champion earns an automatic berth into the 2019 NCAA D2 West Region Championships, which are scheduled for November 21-24 at the site of the top-seeded teams.
MSUB went 7-10-2 overall and 4-7-1 in conference play last year, earning 13 points and finishing in fifth place among the seven-team GNAC standings.
The Yellowjacket women also released their slate of 17 matches.
“We are all looking forward to getting back on the field together for this upcoming fall season,” said head coach Stephen Cavallo, who will begin his third season in charge of the Yellowjackets. “We enter the 2019 season with a strong group of players returning, and I am excited to see everything the incoming players will add to our program. It will be up to everyone now to work hard over the summer so we can hit the ground running in August.”
The Yellowjackets have four exhibition contests on their schedule, in addition to the 17-game regular season set of games. Action starts on August 23 at Rocky Mountain College, and the ‘Jackets will play their first home scrimmage with the annual alumni game on August 25 at Yellowjacket Field. MSUB also plays at Carroll College on August 30 and at home against the University of Providence on September 1 to close out the preseason.
The first regular-season weekend is September 6-8, when the ‘Jackets play a pair of games in Salt Lake City, Utah, against California State University Dominguez Hills and at Westminster. It will be the first-ever meeting between MSUB and both CSUDH and Westminster. The Griffins are coming off a stellar 2018 season, going 14-4-2 overall before falling to Dallas Baptist 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
MSUB will then make its regular-season home debut on September 12-14 with the Sixth Annual Rimrock Classic in Memory of Trevor Wildberger. This year’s weekend tournament will feature games against Carroll on September 12 and the University of Mary on September 14, while each of those teams will face Black Hills State University as well.
The ‘Jackets will also have their inaugural meeting against Minot State University on September 17. The game against the Beavers will be MSUB’s final non-conference affair before the 12-game Great Northwest Athletic Conference schedule begins. Minot State poses a tough opponent for the ‘Jackets, after going 13-6-3 last year and falling to Bemidji State 3-1 in the opening round of the NCAA Championships.
“Our non-conference schedule will really prepare us for the rigors of the GNAC season,” Cavallo said. “We will face two NCAA tournament opponents in Westminster and Minot State, both on the road, which will be a stern test for our group. Our goal is to compete in the GNAC playoffs in November, and we know we will only get there through improvement in each passing practice and game.”
MSUB will begin its pursuit of a GNAC Championships berth at home, with matches against Western Oregon on September 26 and Concordia on September 28. The Wolves and Cavaliers are among four GNAC teams that MSUB will play both at home and on the road, with the ‘Jackets also facing Northwest Nazarene and Saint Martin’s twice in the 2019 season.
The Yellowjackets will get one crack at reigning GNAC champion Western Washington University, on the road in Bellingham, Washington, on October 5. MSUB’s only games against Seattle Pacific University and Central Washington University will be at home on October 26 and 31, respectively, and the only regular-season affair against Simon Fraser will be the penultimate date of the year on November 7 in Burnaby, British Columbia.
MSUB’s longest home stand during the 2019 fall season will be from October 24-31 for a stretch of three straight conference games. The ‘Jackets have no more than two consecutive road contests at any point during the season.
The top-four teams in the GNAC standings earn a berth into the conference tournament, which is scheduled for November 14-16 at Interbay Stadium at Seattle Pacific University. The winner of the conference tournament earns an automatic berth into the NCAA D2 West Region Championships, which will run November 21-24 at the site of the top seeded teams.
All women’s and men’s home games during the 2019 season will feature live video and live statistics, available through the MSUB Stretch Internet portal online. Ticket to attend are $5 for the general public, $3 for seniors (ages 65 and up) and students in grades 7-through-12, and free admission for all MSUB students and faculty, and children in grades six and under. Season ticket packages will also be available, and more information on Yellowjacket tickets can be found online. Live coverage links and ticket information for all road matches can be accessed through the men’s soccer schedule page at msubsports.com.