The Omaha men's soccer team will travel to top-10 contender UCLA and will host traditional powerhouses Santa Clara and Stanford as part of its 2014 schedule released on Monday.
The Mavericks, heading into their fourth season as a Division I program, will challenge themselves with four regular-season games against teams that finished ranked or receiving votes in the College Soccer News Top 30 poll last year - Stanford (19), Cal State Northridge (27), Bradley (RV) and Denver (RV) - in addition to an exhibition match at UCLA, which finished No. 3 in the RPI last season and 12-3-5 overall.
For the second straight season, Omaha will begin the 2014 slate with the South Omaha Classic at Omaha South High School on Saturday, Aug. 16. The Mavs will welcome the Nebraska men's club team for the exhibition match at 7:30 p.m.
UNO then travels to face UCLA in an exhibition on Tuesday, Aug. 19. The Bruins earned the No. 1 overall seed in last year's NCAA Tournament and finished No. 9 in the College Soccer News Top 30 poll after falling in penalty kicks to Connecticut in the round of 16. UCLA has the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation according to College Soccer News.
The Mavs will open Caniglia Field for the first time in the fall with a Red-Black Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. Following the intrasquad game there will be a Meet-And-Greet with the Mavs on the field with autographs and picture opportunities with the players.
The 17-game regular season begins with four straight home games at Caniglia Field, starting on Friday, Aug. 29 against Santa Clara at 7:30 p.m. Santa Clara is a five-time College Cup final four participant and won the national championship in 1989.
Two days later UNO hosts Stanford on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. The Cardinal, three-time College Cup participants, finished 19th in last year's College Soccer News Top 30 after going 10-7-4 and reaching the NCAA round of 16. They bring back seven starters and their top two scorers.
The Mavs continue their home stretch the following weekend with contests against Cincinnati (Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m.) and Belmont (Sunday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m.).
UNO then hits the road for three non-league contests, beginning Sept. 13 at Kansas City. The Mavs take a trip to California the following weekend to battle Cal State Northridge (Sept. 19) and Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 21). Northridge finished 27th in last season's College Soccer News Top 30 with a 15-7-1 record. The Matadors were eliminated by Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Summit League play opens on Saturday, Sept. 27 with UNO hosting Eastern Illinois at 7 p.m. The Mavs visit Oral Roberts (Oct. 4) and Western Illinois (Oct. 11) the following weekends.
On Oct. 20, UNO steps out of league play to visit Bradley. On Saturday, Oct. 25, the Mavs welcome defending league champion Denver for a 7 p.m. match at Caniglia Field. The Mavs then face Drake in a non-league game on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., also at Caniglia Field.
UNO travels to Fort Wayne on Nov. 1 before hosting IUPUI on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. The Mavs conclude the season with a road trip to Phoenix, Ariz., as they return games at Incarnate Word (Nov. 14) and Grand Canyon (Nov. 16).
Eight of UNO's 17 regular-season games will be at home as well as two exhibition matches. Twelve opponents from the 2013 schedule appear on the slate again this fall. UNO went 5-6-1 against those teams last year and finished 6-9-1 overall, its most wi