The Bradley Braves soccer team finally knows when it will play its first conference game of the 2021 season. On Feb. 16, the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) announced its new schedule after making the decision to delay the start of the season last week.
No specific reason was cited for the delay, but according to the MVC’s announcement, the decision was made “due to the very low likelihood of completing any matches in the first two weeks of the previous schedule.”
The season is set up as a double-round robin with home and away games against each of the five schools that field men’s soccer teams in the Valley. Each of the conference schools will play its eight games in a little over a month.
Bradley will kick off the conference season at Missouri State, the 2019 regular season champions, on Saturday, Feb. 27. This will be the first conference game played in the MVC.
Then, the Braves will head home to Shea Stadium for a two-game homestand against Evansville on March 4 and Drake on March 9.
Perhaps the start of its toughest stretch, Bradley will travel to Chicago to face off against the 2019 MVC tournament champions, Loyola, on March 14. It will then return to Peoria to play Missouri State once again on March 18.
After a quick stop at home, the Braves will move to Indiana to play their away game against Evansville on March 22.
In their last home game of the season, the Braves will host Loyola on March 30. They will end the regular season in Des Moines against the Bulldogs on April 4.
So far, the conference has announced dates, but not specific times.
The MVC will wrap up its season with the top four seeds playing in semi-final games on Tuesday, April 13, with the championship game occurring on Saturday, April 17.
This year, the men’s soccer tournament will not have a single host. Instead, the conference opted to have the highest seeds host the semi-final and championship games.