NORMAN, Okla. -- Head coach Matt Potter and University of Oklahoma Vice President/Athletics Director Joe Castiglione announced the 2013 soccer schedule on Thursday.
The Sooners' 2013 slate includes eight contests against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season, including road games against Final Four competitor Florida State (20-4) and Elite Eight contender BYU (20-2-2). Other opponents from last season's championship include Baylor (19-1-5), Florida (19-5-1), North Texas (16-5-2), Tennessee (14-5-3), Texas Tech (16-6-1) and West Virginia (11-5-4).
"This schedule truly speaks to our intent to be an elite program," Potter said. "Our opinion is that you play the best to be the best. With games against top SEC, ACC and the Pac-12 teams, Coach (Graeme) Abel has put together a schedule that competes against some of the top teams in the country."
Overall, Oklahoma will play 18 regular season contests in 2013, including seven home games at John Crain Field in the OU Soccer Complex. The Sooners' home slate includes Big 12 matchups against in-state rival Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Iowa State and 2012 conference regular season champion West Virginia.
OU will open 2013 on the road in Knoxville, Tenn., facing Tennessee on Aug. 23 and Kennesaw State on Aug. 25. The games will mark only the third meeting all-time between the Lady Volunteers and the Sooners, and Oklahoma's first against Kennesaw State.
For the fourth consecutive season, OU and OSU will continue the Bedlam Soccer Series with regular season games on both home fields. The Sooners and the Cowgirls will open the series with a non-conference battle in Stillwater on Aug. 30 before meeting in a Big 12 showdown in Norman on Oct. 4.
Oklahoma is set to open its home schedule on Sept. 1 against Texas State. The Sooners will also host non-conference matchups at John Crain Field against Oral Roberts and North Texas this season.
OU will face a challenging lineup of non-conference road games that includes matches against top-tier programs in Florida State, Florida, BYU and Utah. Potter and his staff hope the slate will prepare the Sooners as they open conference play in late September.
"With the competitive nature of the Big 12, the success of the top teams in the NCAA tournament and the recruiting that has taken place across the board, we are set up for a great year of soccer," Potter said.
Big 12 play will open for the Sooners in Waco, Texas on Sept. 27 against Baylor. OU will then return to Norman to open a three-game home stand on Oct. 4 against Oklahoma State. Conference rivals Texas Tech (Oct. 11), Iowa State (Oct. 13) and West Virginia (Oct. 25) will also make the journey to Norman for Big 12 action.
The Sooners will face a conference road schedule that includes games at TCU (Oct. 18), Texas (Oct. 20) and Kansas (Nov. 1).
The Big 12 Championship will take place on Nov. 6-10 in Kansas City, Mo. The conference's top eight teams will compete in a single-eliminiation tournament as they vie for a Big 12 title and an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
NCAA Championship action is set to open on Nov. 15 at campus sites around the country. The tournament will conclude on Dec. 8 with the Women's College Cup in Cary, N.C.
Oklahoma will return seven starters from the 2012 squad this season. The Sooners finished their first year under Head Coach Matt Potter with a 7-9-4 record and the program's third consecutive Big 12 Championship appearance.