The 2022 men’s and women’s soccer schedules were released Thursday, showing changes in conference opponents for the men.
The men’s team finished last season 6-7-2 (4-5-1 AAC) and weren’t able to qualify for the conference tournament.
However, the women have a winning streak to keep up. The 2021 regular-season champions went 12-4-3 (6-1-1 AAC) last season and were knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round.
USF added seven new nonconference opponents in 2022 that the Bulls have yet to tackle in the past couple of years. Not only are these new faces, but they are possibly part of the program’s toughest schedule as of late.
The Bulls will start playing in three preseason exhibitions at home Aug. 12, 16 and 20 against Saint Leo, Tampa and Eckerd, respectively.
The season opener will be at home against Florida Gulf Coast on Aug. 25, followed by two away games at North Carolina on Aug. 28 and Marquette on Sept. 2.
Nonconference play will end with three home games, one being against No. 1 Washington on Sept. 6. The Pac-12 powerhouse finished its 2021 campaign 18-2-2 and fell to Clemson 2-0 in the NCAA National Championship.
Right before conference play, USF will play Mercer on Sept. 9. Then, after five conference games, the Bulls will go up against Stetson on Oct. 12.
The AAC introduced four new teams for men’s soccer beginning this year, including Florida Atlantic, Alabama-Birmingham and Charlotte as well as Florida International as an affiliate member. FAU, UAB and Charlotte will become full members of the AAC come 2023.
When in conference play, USF will host four home games including Temple on Sept. 24, Tulsa on Oct. 9, FIU on Oct. 16 and Memphis on Oct. 28.
The remainder of the conference features five meetings on the road at No. 47 Charlotte on Sept. 30, UAB on Oct. 5 and SMU on Oct. 22, with the conclusion of the season taking place Nov. 2 in the War on I-4 at UCF.
USF finished fifth out of six in the conference last year and just one game behind tournament qualifier SMU.
One of the highlights of the Bulls’ previous season features their hot streak in the end of 2021 where they accumulated a 4-1-1 record in their final six matchups of conference. A team chemistry like that may prove useful in such a difficult section of their schedule.
Unlike the men’s team, women’s soccer won’t be going up against many new teams this season. The Bulls will be playing four of the same nonconference teams as last year, with the other four being new.
However, USF will get a taste of future AAC members UTSA and FAU in nonconference play this year. USF hasn’t played UTSA in recent years, but tied 1-1 with FAU late in nonconference play last season.
The women’s team will start the season with three home games, preceded by two preseason exhibition games at home against Jacksonville on Aug. 6 and Stetson on Aug. 10.
Nonconference play starts with FGCU on Aug. 21, followed by American University on Aug. 25 and FAU on Aug. 28. The other home games include UTSA on Sept. 4, Miami on Sept. 8 and Kansas on Sept. 18 — three days after the conference opener.
The only two nonconference away games will be at UF on Sept. 1 and Georgia on Sept. 11.
AAC women’s soccer won’t see any changes in its teams like men’s soccer did, so USF will be facing the same 10 teams as usual.
Conference play will start at Houston on Sept. 15. Then, USF will alternate between home and away games. Tulsa will come to Tampa for a Sept. 22 game before the Bulls make their way to SMU on Sept. 29. Last season, USF fell 2-0 to SMU, making it the team’s only conference loss.
The next two home games will be against Memphis on Oct. 6 and Temple on Oct. 20 with an Oct. 16 game at ECU in between.
Before the final game of the season, USF will head to Cincinnati for its last away game on Oct. 23 and the season will close with a War on I-4 game on Oct. 27.
The women’s team were top of the conference last season and won the regular-season title, but fell to Memphis in the conference tournament to penalty kicks. Women’s soccer has won six conference championships and made it to the NCAA tournament in the last five seasons.
This season’s schedule shouldn’t be too difficult to handle. While USF didn’t have the best overall record in the conference, it did have the best conference play record.
As for the nonconference opponents, USF’s 2021 overall record topped all of them, with Georgia (11-5-3, 4-4-2 SEC) close behind.