After missing out on the Big Ten Tournament in 2017, IU women’s soccer will look to bounce back in the 2018 season.
The Hoosiers released their 2018 season schedule Tuesday. They will take on six 2017 NCAA Tournament teams and 12 teams that finished in the top-100 of the NCAA RPI, including seven that were in the top-50.
After a single exhibition game against Ohio State in Bloomington, IU will open the regular season Aug. 17 with the Hoosier Challenge Cup in Bloomington. Wake Forest will be the opponent in the season and home opener; then IU will take on Miami (Ohio) to round out the weekend.
Last season, Wake Forest advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The following weekend, IU will travel to take on IU Coach Amy Berbary’s alma mater, Georgia, and then Clemson on the road. It’ll be the first time in program history IU and Georgia will meet. Last season, the Hoosiers lost to Clemson 1-0.
Then, IU wraps up the four-game road trip against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount the following weekend. Pepperdine won the West Coast Conference last season with a 15-3-3 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In the final nonconference weekend of the season, IU will play Kentucky and Kansas State in Bloomington. It’ll be the first time since 2010 that Kentucky and IU play each other. The game will also be a doubleheader, with the IU men’s soccer team playing VCU later that day. Sunday’s game against Kansas State will be the Hoosiers' first-ever meeting with the Wildcats.
In Big Ten Conference action, IU will play home matches against Michigan and Michigan State to open conference play in the first week. Then, IU will travel to Nebraska, Iowa and Purdue for three consecutive road games. IU will return to Bloomington to play Wisconsin and Minnesota after the road trip.
In a Thursday night game, IU will travel to Northwestern, which finished third in the Big Ten last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Wildcats defeated IU 2-1. The Hoosiers will round out the week on the road at Illinois.
The final conference weekend of the season looks to be IU's toughest test. IU will play defending Big Ten champion Penn State in Bloomington on Oct. 18. Last season, Penn State advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament and finished the season ranked fifth in the United Soccer Coaches poll. IU will travel to Maryland in the last game of the season.
“We are really looking forward to this year’s schedule,” Berbary said in an IU Athletics release. “Our nonconference slate allows us to play eight teams from five difference conferences that will challenge us on styles of play and level of competition. These games will prepare us for Big Ten play, which is always a battle.”