Today in the BIG EAST- Aug. 26

PROVIDENCE, R.I.- Three more BIG EAST Sports begin action as men's soccer, volleyball and field hockey start their seasons, while women's soccer continues it's season this weekend.

Women's Soccer
There are 13 women's soccer games set for Friday, with the eyes of the college soccer community set on Chapel Hill, North Carolina as No. 1/1 Notre Dame (1-0-0) is at No. 3/3 Carolina (1-0-0). The 7 p.m. ET contest is a rematch of last year's NCAA Championship third-round contest, won by the Irish in historic fashion, 4-0. It was the first time UNC has lost a match by multiple goals since Nov. 24, 1985 and the first time the Tar Heels had ever allowed four goals on its home pitch to a college opponent.

On Sunday, No. 20/14 Georgetown (2-0-0) hosts No. 2/1 Stanford (2-0-0) in a meeting of high-powered offense. The Hoyas have yet to allow a goal this year and have outscored their opponents 9-0. The Cardinal also have tallied nine goals this year and are averaging 27.0 shots per game.

Overall there are 29 women's soccer games this weekend, including seven contests featuring ranked opponents.

Men's Soccer
The 2011 BIG EAST men's soccer season will open on Friday, August 26 as seven of the 16 teams are in action. Eight more games featuring BIG EAST teams will be played on Saturday. In the first three days of the season, BIG EAST teams will match up against six NSCAA/Soccer America preseason ranked opponents. On Friday, RV/17 West Virginia will play at No. 22/NR Virginia in Germantown, Md., at 5:00 p.m. and St. John's will play No. 4/8 Maryland at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, No. 6/2 UCLA will play at No. 1/1 Louisville, the BIG EAST coaches' preseason Red Division favorite, at 7:00 p.m. and No. 17/18 Indiana will play at No. 12/9 Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. On Monday, West Virginia will play its second ranked team in as many games with a tilt at No. 4/8 Maryland at 7:00 p.m. RV/13 Wake Forest will host USF on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Picked by the BIG EAST Coaches to win the Blue Division, No. 8/5 Connecticut will host St. Francis (N.Y.) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Providence and Georgetown, which both received votes in the NSCAA preseason poll, will open the season at home as the Friars host Northeastern at 1:00 p.m. on Friday and the Hoyas host VCU on Monday at 4:00 p.m.

All 15 BIG EAST volleyball teams begin regular season play this weekend. A total of 52 matches will be played during the opening weekend, which begins on Friday. Cincinnati, selected to finished third in the BIG EAST Preseason Volleyball Poll, faces two Top 25 opponents. The Bearcats square off against No. 18 Iowa State on Aug. 26 at 3:00 p.m. A day later the team faces No. 14 Northern Iowa at 1:00 p.m. Both games are part of the Northern Illinois Tournament held in DeKalb, Ill. West Virginia is the only other team to play a ranked opponent this weekend as it faces No. 21 Ohio State as part of the WVU Volleyball Mountaineer Invitational in Morgantown, W. Va. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Aug. 27.

Field Hockey
Field hockey gets underway this weekend. Connecticut, the Preseason favorite to top the league, officially starts the season Friday at noon with a home contest against Hofstra. The 2011 campaign marks the first time in six years that all BIG EAST schools will host their season-opening games.

BIG EAST teams will face two top-20 opponents on Sunday, Aug. 28. No. 4 Connecticut takes on No. 20 Stanford at 5:00 p.m. while No. 16 Louisville will compete with No. 13 Michigan State at 6:00 p.m.

Several games have been postponed or moved due to pending weather from Hurricane Irene. Please check school websites for more information.