Hello Mustang Fans!
Wow, it is a busy Homecoming Week on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University, all leading up to an event-packed Friday, Saturday and Sunday of university and department of athletic activities and programs.
On Friday, you can attend the Alumni Awards Luncheon, Mustang volleyball against Minnesota-Dulut,h and end the evening with the university gala. Congratulations to alum and former student-athlete Erin (Frye) Lind (Class of 2001) and her family on being the first recipient of the GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) Award. The GOLD Award is presented to a graduate of SMSU to recognize recent graduates with exceptional achievement and significant contributions to the recipient's profession, community/society or university.
Saturday features a whole host of events beginning with the 2nd annual Mustang Stampede, starting at 9 a.m. at the Regional Event Center, in conjunction with SMSU Homecoming. The Mustang Stampede is for everyone - women, men, students and families are all welcome. Strollers are welcome for walkers and kids 12-and-under are free.
The event features a 5K walk/run, raising money for women's athletic and veterans' scholarships at SMSU. Here is a schedule of Saturday's Homecoming and Mustang Stampede events:
8 - 9 a.m. - Registration and Final Check-In
9 a.m. -5K begins (shirts & refreshments are available after the 5K)
11 a.m. - Homecoming Parade
Noon -Mustang Soccer vs. Mary
2 p.m. - Homecoming Tailgate: pony rides, inflatables, clowns, food, beverage garden & live music
3 p.m. - Mustang Volleyball vs. Bemidji State
Mustang Football Alumni Reunion
Speech Communications/Radio-TV/Public Relations Alumni Reunion
6 p.m. Mustang Football vs. Augustana
9:30 p.m. - The Johnny Holm Band
I have listed a sampling of the Homecoming Events happening this weekend at SMSU. For all your information on SMSU Homecoming and Mustang athletic events, go to SMSU.edu or SMSUmustangs.com.
On Sunday, the SMSU athletics department will conclude the Homecoming festivities with its annual Celebration of Excellence awards banquet. The Celebration of Excellence begins at 11 a.m. with a social. The awards program will begin at 11:30 a.m., honoring SMSU student-athletes for their academic and athletic achievements during the 2010-11 academic year.
The SMSU soccer team (2-3-0, 1-1-0 NSIC ) hosts a pair of NSIC matches this weekend at the Regional Event Center. On Saturday, SMSU will face Mary (4-2-0, 2-0-0 NSIC) before taking on Northern State (4-3-0, 1-1-0 NSIC ) on Sunday. Saturday's game will begin at noon, while Sunday's game will kick at 1 p.m. The Mustangs earned their first NSIC win of the season on a Kelly Fitzgerald goal, her second of the season, to break the scoreless game against SCSU and give the Mustangs their first NSIC win since 2009.
The Mustang football team (1-2, 1-1 NSIC) returns to Marshall for SMSU's Homecoming Weekend to battle Augustana (0-3, 0-2 NSIC) in an NSIC matchup on Saturday at Mattke Field at the Regional Event Center, with the kickoff set for 6 p.m. The Mustangs will be looking to rebound from last weekend's 41-10 road loss to undefeated Bemidji State, while Augustana, which began the season ranked in the top 10 nationally, is in search for its first victory of the season. The Vikings are 0-3, losing last weekend on the road to Mary.
The seventh-ranked SMSU volleyball team beat St. Cloud State 25-16, 25-9, 25-11 on Tuesday night in St. Cloud to improves to 9-2 overall, including 3-0 in NSIC play. The Mustangs were led by Mary Groth, who connected on a match-leading 17 kills, while recording a season-high .577 attack percentage to help SMSU to a clean sweep of the Huskies.
The Mustang volleyball team will continue NSIC play on Friday, hosting No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth at 7 p.m. at the PE Gym. The Mustangs will then welcome Bemidji State on Saturday at 3 p.m.
The SMSU women's golf team will host the 14th annual Mustang Invitational Saturday and Sunday at Marshall Golf Club. The 36-hole invite begins at noon on Saturday with 18 holes and will conclude with the final round beginning on Sunday with a shotgun start at 9 a.m.
SMSU has won the team title twice (2000 and 2005) during the 13-year history of the invitational. This will be the sixth competition for SMSU this fall. The Mustangs last competed on Sept. 18-19, taking fourth place at the 12-team Concordia-St. Paul Invite in Lake Elmo.
It is a great weekend to bring the family out to the campus of SMSU to experience the Mustang Stampede and homecoming programs, and activities for children and adults of all ages. I look forward to seeing you this weekend wearing the brown and gold of the SMSU Mustangs!
Good luck to all of our teams this week and believe in Brown!
n No one was able to provide the correct answer to last week's Mustang Hoofprints Question: What has been the average attendance for Mustang football home games since moving into Mattke Field at the Regional Event Center? The Mustangs have attracted just over 3,600 fans for SMSU football games in the evening at the REC, and just over 2,600 to games beginning in the early afternoon.