ERAU-Yavapai Soccer Match to kick-off at 12:01 a.m.
The men’s soccer teams from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Yavapai College will face each other for the first time in an exhibition match scheduled for 12:01 a.m. on (Friday night, March 30) Saturday, March 31. The Eagles, led by second-year head coach Matt Barnes along with Yavapai’s first and only head coach Mike Pantalione worked together to make this match possible for their players and the community. With a special midnight start time, the student bodies from both schools are expected to present a spirited environment for the spring match taking place on the ERAU campus field.
The NAIA and NJCAA rules restrict the number of playing dates in the spring. As a result, both schools will play Grand Canyon University later in the day on Saturday, March 31. The Roughriders will kick-off against the Antelopes at 11:00 a.m. at ERAU while the Eagles will host GCU at 6:00 p.m. With only two playing dates allowed by NJCAA rules, Yavapai will travel to UNLV on March 2 for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. Meanwhile, Embry-Riddle will have their other three allotted NAIA spring matches against Dixie State and UNLV in early March.
Considering the scheduling difficulties in previous years due to affiliations with different soccer classifications along with the different rules and regulations both programs are govern by, Matt Barnes and Mike Pantalione feel it’s time the two programs, located 7.5 miles from each other, take advantage of this opportunity in 2012. In Barnes first season, ERAU is coming off a solid 2011 fall season while Yavapai (496-40-18 all-time) has captured seven NJCAA National Championships since their inception in 1989. Admission to “midnight soccer madness” is free.