MARTIN, Tenn. – A total of 19 regular season dates and nine home matches highlight the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 2017 soccer schedule, which was unveiled today by head coach Phil McNamara.
The Skyhawks will square off against eight teams who finished with a winning record last season and will face teams from seven different conferences in 2017.
“We are excited about our schedule this fall and expect a very competitive start to the season,” said McNamara, who enters his eighth season overseeing the UT Martin soccer program in 2017. “This schedule offers a better balance of home versus away games compared to the last few seasons and we certainly play a nice variety of opponents. We expect these opponents will reflect similarly to the top teams in the OVC and therefore will help our team prepare for a successful conference campaign.”
UT Martin will officially open its 20th season of soccer on Aug. 18 when it hosts Marshall at Skyhawk Field. This will be the first time in program history that the Skyhawks and the Thundering Herd will play each other on the soccer pitch.
Two days later, UT Martin travels to Evansville – where the Skyhawks have won the last three matches in the all-time series. UT Martin returns home on Aug. 25 against to take on UAB before traveling to Western Kentucky on Aug. 27, facing a Lady Toppers squad that finished 12-6-1 last season.
The Skyhawks host in-state foe Chattanooga on Sept. 1 and will look to continue their unbeaten streak (2-0-1) against the Mocs dating back to 2005.
A pair of road matches follow at Lipscomb (Sept. 3) and Jackson State (Sept. 6) before UT Martin plays at home for the fourth consecutive Friday to begin the season when it hosts Arkansas State on Sept. 8. The Skyhawks boast a 7-2-1 all-time record against the Red Wolves.
UT Martin’s nonconference slate wraps up on Sept. 10 when it travels to Cullowhee, NC to take on Western Carolina.
The Skyhawks kick off Ohio Valley Conference play with home matches against Jacksonville State and Southeast Missouri on Sept. 15 and Sept. 17, respectively. Three road matches in the Bluegrass State follow with dates against Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 22), Morehead State (Sept. 24) and Murray State (Oct. 1).
UT Martin then returns home for three of its next four matches, starting with a matchup against Belmont at Skyhawk Field. Following a road match at Austin Peay, the Skyhawks host SIUE on Oct. 13 and Eastern Illinois on Oct. 15. The regular season commences on Oct. 22 at Tennessee Tech.
The 2017 OVC Championships will expand from six to eight teams. The No. 5 through No. 8 seeds will play on Oct. 27 with the winners advancing to play the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds on Oct. 29. All games in the first two rounds will be hosted by the better seed in each matchup. The No. 1 seed (who will receive a bye to the semifinals along with the No. 2 seed) will host the semifinals and final on Nov. 3 and Nov. 5.