Northwest Missouri State's soccer team will get its share of northern exposure in the early stages of the 2013 season.
The Bearcats' first four matches of 2013 are all against teams from the Northern Sun Conference, a fellow occupant of the Central Region.
Northwest plays a total of 18 regular season matches. Eight are at home and 12 count toward the MIAA standings.
Northwest opens the season with Wayne State (Neb.) Sept. 5 and hosts Northern State (S.D.) Sept. 8.
Its next two matches are at St. Cloud State (Minn.) Sept. 13 and at Winona State (Minn.) Sept. 15.
The Bearcats return home Sept. 20 for a non-conference match with MIAA foe Lindenwood. Their official MIAA opener is Sept. 24 at Missouri Western.
That's the front end of a back-to-back with Western. The Griffons make their visit to Maryville Sept. 27.
Northwest begins a three-game road swing Oct. 1 with its non-conference finale at Graceland. From there, the Bearcats head down to Oklahoma to take on Northeastern State and Central Oklahoma.
Three of the Bearcats' next four matches are at home.
They host Emporia State Oct. 11, Nebraska-Kearney Oct. 18 and Fort Hays State Oct. 20. Mixed in is a visit to Washburn.
Northwest's final two matches of October are on the road versus Southwest Baptist and defending MIAA champion Central Missouri.
Northwest concludes its home slate with the Jennies on the back end of a home-and-home Nov. 1. The regular season finale is Nov. 3 at Missouri Southern.
The MIAA's top eight teams advance to the conference tournament the following week.
Northwest went 8-7-3 overall and 6-5-2 in the MIAA last year, finishing fifth in the league. The season ended with a first round loss to Northeastern State in the MIAA Tournament.
The Bearcats graduated only three seniors. Six of their returners were honorable mention all-conference selections in 2012.