The USF women’s soccer team announced their 2017 schedule on Monday. The non-conference schedule is significantly tougher this year, featuring a home game against North Carolina and road trips to Ohio State and Florida.
The ladies play two exhibition games against Florida Gulf Coast (August 8) and Troy (August 12.) The regular season begins with a home game against Charlotte on Friday, August 18, followed with lighter games vs American and at Alabama. Then the schedule ramps up with a massive home game against preseason #4 North Carolina on Sunday, August 27. (It’s a 1:00 pm game... bring your beach blankets, umbrellas, and sunscreen.)
A week later, USF travels to Columbus for a clash at Ohio State, receiving votes in the preseason coaches’ poll. After a Thursday night game against Mississippi State, the ladies travel to preseason #10 Florida on September 10.
In conference play, USF hosts Memphis, Tulsa, Temple and 20th-ranked UConn, and they travel to ECU, Cincinnati, SMU, and Houston. A road game at C. closes the regular season.
The Bulls were only 4-3-2 in the American last year. They were criticized for a weak non-conference schedule that may not have prepared them for league play and contributed to them missing the NCAA Tournament. Clearly, Coach Denise Schilte-Brown has a different plan this season. A result in those three marquee games would go far to preparing the Bulls for a tough conference, where six of their nine opponents finished in the RPI top 100 in 2016.
The Bulls hope to return to the NCAAs behind the firepower of rising sophomore Evelyne Viens, who tied USF’s single-season goal scoring record with 16 in her freshman year. The Bulls return six regular starters from last season, including four sophomores in Viens, Andrea Hauksdottir, Kelli Burney, and Yasmine Hall.
You can find the full schedule here.