DENTON - North Texas soccer coach John Hedlund has announced the Mean Green's 2017 fall schedule, which features home contests against Arkansas, Texas and Indiana.
"No question we will be challenged this season with our non-conference schedule and trying to pursue our fourth consecutive regular-season CUSA championship," Hedlund said. "We will be young with only three seniors on the team and half the roster playing in their first fall season for UNT, but it's a talented group of 26 players and for me it will be very exciting to watch this team grow and mature throughout the year."
The schedule is highlighted by four games against 2016 NCAA Tournament participants and six matches versus opponents who finished last season in the RPI Top 100. Two opponents were ranked in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top 25.
The Mean Green's 17-game consecutive home win streak will be put to the test with three home matches against Power Five schools.
North Texas hosts Arkansas on Sunday, Aug. 20, in its home opener after the Mean Green fell, 1-0, to the nationally-ranked Razorbacks last season on the road. Arkansas is coming off a record-breaking season that saw them advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and ranked No. 19 in the NSCAA poll.
The following week North Texas faces Texas at home for the first time since the 2-1 overtime victory in 1999. The Mean Green lost to the Longhorns, 1-0, in Austin last season. On Sunday, Sept. 10, North Texas plays Indiana for the first time in school history.
North Texas opens the 2017 season in California with road games against Pepperdine (August 10) and UC Santa Barbara (August 12). Pepperdine advanced to the second round of the last year's NCAA Tournament and was ranked No. 22 in the final NSCAA poll. UCSB won 11 games last season.
The Mean Green will officially open its regular season on Friday, Aug. 18, at Incarnate Word. North Texas defeated UIW, 4-0, last year in the season opener. North Texas will also play away non-conference games against Abilene Christian (August 25) and Texas A&M Corpus Christi (September 1).
North Texas will host four straight home games beginning on Sunday, Sept. 3 against Houston Baptist, which won last year's Southland Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The following week, North Texas plays Weber State, which won 11 games in 2016, and Indiana of the Big 10 conference.
The Mean Green will begin defense of its Conference USA regular-season title when they host FIU on Sunday, Sept. 17. North Texas will look to extend its 39-game unbeaten streak at home against conference opponents, which is tied for the longest in the nation.
North Texas will also host UTEP (October 6), UT-San Antonio (October 8), UAB (October 13) and Rice (October 27).
The Mean Green will travel to North Carolina to face Charlotte on Friday, Oct. 20. The 49ers won the 2016 Conference USA tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
North Texas returns six starters from last year's squad with a total of 13 returners from last year's championship team. Thirteen newcomers will be playing their first fall season for the Mean Green.
2017 North Texas Soccer Schedule
Aug. 10 - at Pepperdine (exhibition)
Aug. 12 - at UCSB (exhibition
Aug. 18- at Incarnate Word
Aug. 20 - Arkansas
Aug. 25 - at Abilene Christian
Aug. 27 - Texas
Sept 1 - at Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Sept. 3 - Houston Baptist
Sept. 8 - Weber State
Sept.10 - Indiana
Sept. 17 - FIU*
Sept. 21 - at Marshall*
Sept. 24 - at Louisiana Tech*
Oct. 1 - at WKU*
Oct. 6 - UTEP*
Oct. 8 - UTSA*
Oct. 13 - UAB*
Oct. 19 - at Charlotte*
Oct. 22 - at Old Dominion*
Oct. 27 -- Rice*
Click here to view complete schedule