An eight-match home slate highlights the 2018 UCF women's soccer schedule, which was announced on Tuesday. The Knights will face five teams who made the NCAA Tournament in 2017, and will host a pair of those squads at the UCF Soccer Complex.
“We‘ve set a very challenging schedule yet again for this fall,” head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. “I believe we’ve been successful in securing games that will prepare us for a deep run in postseason play. When I look at this list of opponents, there’s so much to be excited about.”
After a pair of exhibition matches, UCF opens the season on Aug. 19, hosting FGCU at the UCF Soccer Complex.
The Sahaydaks will go up against their alma mater for the third consecutive season, as the Knights will head to North Carolina for an August tournament. UCF will face Texas in a neutral site contest before taking on the host Tar Heels. The Knights topped then-No. 4 North Carolina, 2-1, in double overtime at the UCF Soccer Complex in 2017.
“After last season’s home victory against UNC, there will be a lot of buzz around returning to play them this year in Chapel Hill,” Roberts Sahaydak said.
The Black and Gold return to Orlando on Aug. 30 to host LSU. The Knights earned a 4-1 victory over the Tigers in Baton Rouge last season.
UCF opens September on the road, heading to Miami on Sept. 2 before traveling to College Park to face Maryland on Sept. 6.
On Sept. 9, the Knights welcome their second SEC opponent of the season with a match against Florida. The Gators make the trip to Orlando for the first time since the 2015 campaign.
“I think our home match versus Florida could shape up to be a huge in-state rivalry game,” Roberts Sahaydak said. “We’d love the support of Knight Nation to make it a sellout.”
UCF closes out non-conference action with a home match against George Mason on Sept. 13, and a trip to Deland to face Stetson on Sept. 16.
The Knights begin their American Athletic Conference slate on the road, traveling to Temple for a Sept. 27 matchup before heading to Connecticut on Sept. 30.
UCF hosts its first league opponent on Oct. 4 when ECU comes to Orlando, followed by Cincinnati on Oct. 7. A trip to Memphis on Oct. 11 is followed by an Oct. 14 contest at Tulsa.
The Knights round out the home portion of the regular season with an Oct. 18 contest against SMU and an Oct. 21 meeting with Houston.
UCF will wrap up the regular season in Tampa on Oct. 26. Six War on I4 rivalry series points will be on the line in the lone matchup between the Knights and the Bulls. In 2017, UCF clinched The American regular season title while splitting the rivalry series points after a 1-1 draw at the UCF Soccer Complex.
UCF Soccer features 11 returning players who clocked time in at least 10 matches last year. Among those returners include American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Vera Varis and Rookie of the Year Dina Orschmann, along with all-rookie team selection Stefanie Sanders.