OMAHA, Neb. - Ten home matches, including contests against national powerhouse Notre Dame, national quarterfinalist Virginia Tech and crosstown foe Creighton, highlight the 2017 Omaha men's soccer schedule released on Thursday.
“This schedule was built for the student-athletes and fans,” said head coach Jason Mims. “We really wanted to reward them with a great home schedule, and we believe we have delivered in a big way.”
The Mavericks start the fall with their annual Black/White Scrimmage on Aug. 9 and welcome national tournament qualifier Notre Dame on Aug. 13 for the South Omaha Classic.
“We have perennial powers coming to play at Caniglia Field,” Mims said. “This year's schedule is the best home schedule we have put together in the short history of Omaha Soccer.”
The challenging 17-match regular-season slate includes match-ups against four opponents who earned bids into the 2016 NCAA Tournament Field of 48, including NCAA semifinalist Denver, quarterfinalist Virginia Tech, third round qualifier Creighton and second round qualifier Florida Gulf Coast.
Omaha begins the regular season with home matches against Grand Canyon (Aug. 25) and Virginia Tech (Aug.27).
The Mavericks will spend the first weekend of September in Edinburg, Texas at the UTRVG Invitational. Omaha will play Houston Baptist on Sept. 1 and tournament host UT Rio Grande Valley on Sept. 3.
UNO returns to Omaha for a two-game home stand, welcoming UC Riverside (Sept. 8) and Bradley (Sept. 10) to Caniglia Field.
Omaha then journeys to Orem, Utah for the UVU Tournament on Sept 15 and 17. The Mavericks first play Northern Illinois before a match against tournament host and 2015 national tournament qualifier Utah Valley.
The Mavericks' Summit League schedule begins with a road match against Eastern Illinois on Sept. 23. The Mavericks beat the Panthers last fall to advance to the Summit League Championship game.
Omaha then welcomes crosstown foe Creighton to Caniglia Field on Sept. 26 for a non-conference affair. The Mavericks and Bluejays played to a 1-1 draw last season at Morrison Stadium.
UNO hosts conference foe Fort Wayne on Sept. 30 before returning to the road for a non-conference match against one of the nation's top offensive teams, Florida Gulf Coast, on Oct. 3.
The Mavericks continue league play on Oct. 14 by visiting IUPUI and then match-up with Big Ten foe Michigan on Oct. 16 in Ann Arbor.
Two of Omaha's final three Summit League contests are at home with matchups against Western Illinois (Oct. 21) and Oral Roberts (Nov. 4). In between, the Mavericks visit Denver on Oct. 28.
“This season also marks a special year for us by hosting the Summit League Championship in November,” said Mims. “Caniglia Field is a wonderful venue for a college soccer game, and we're excited to host this marquee event.”
The Summit League Men's Soccer Championship will be held on Nov. 9-11. The top four teams in the regular season standings qualify.
All dates and times are subject to change, and fans are encouraged to visit OMavs.com for additional updates. Season tickets will go on sale Thursday, June 15.
For more information on the Mavericks, follow @OmahaMSOC on Twitter and /OmahaMSOC on Facebook.
2017 Schedule Notes
Five NCAA Tournament teams are on the schedule (three at home).
Seven teams are on the schedule for the first time, and the schedule features teams from seven different conferences.
Two teams from the ACC that was the nation's top soccer conference in 2016 appear on the schedule. (Virginia Tech and Notre Dame)
Notre Dame spent two weeks at No. 1 last season and eight weeks in the top 4.
This season opens a home-and-home series with Michigan. The Wolverines will visit Omaha in 2019.
Grand Canyon is in its first full season of postseason eligibility.
Creighton will make its first regular-season appearance at Caniglia Field.
Denver owns the current longest regular-season home unbeaten streak in the nation at 35 games dating back to Oct. 31, 2014.
Florida Gulf Coast led the country in goals last season and returns the leading goal scorer in the nation.