411OnTheForty: Texas releases revised soccer schedule

25 Aug By
Midfielder Julia Grosso and the Texas soccer team will play an abbreviated schedule in 2020, kicking off only against opponents from the Big 12 (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

For the third time this year, the Texas soccer team has released a new schedule.

It was to be expected, considering the Big 12's decision to go to a conference-only schedule this fall for soccer and volleyball two weeks ago, and the NCAA's announcement that fall championships, for every fall sport except football, were cancelled.

The fall slate has now been trimmed down to a nine-match schedule, as the Longhorns will face off against each of the Big 12's other teams. While it will be a significantly shorter season, quality matchups will not be lacking. Five 2020 Texas opponents made the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

The season opener will now be Sept. 11, when Texas hosts Kansas at Mike A. Myers Field in Austin. That will be a crucial contest, as the Jayhawks are the defending Big 12 champions, but lost two 2019 All-Big 12 first-teamers following last season.

That will proceed the first road match of the season, with Texas traveling up I-35 to battle TCU. The schedule is evenly split between home and away contests, with the only back-to-back road matchups taking place Oct. 16 and Oct. 23 against Iowa State and West Virginia, respectively. The other three home showdowns will be against Oklahoma (Sept. 25), Kansas State (Oct. 9) and Baylor (Oct. 30).

The regular season concludes with a Nov. 6 road battle against Texas Tech.

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The Big 12 tournament is cancelled this fall, a Texas spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

While Texas fans will see less of their team on the pitch this fall, all games will be free to the public, according to Texassports.com.

The 2020 team welcomes back 17 letterwinners from last season's team. In addition, this year will be something of a practice run, with all fall sport athletes earning an additional year of eligibility from the NCAA, meaning the majority of the 2020 team should return next fall.

It is not a typical schedule, especially for a team used to competing against a wide variety of competition, but it will still be soccer, and ultimately, will give the Horns a chance to compete for a Big 12 title.

Texas was picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 preseason poll by the league's head coaches back in May, and return a talented midfield led by All-America Julia Grosso.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Riley Zayas is a high school freshman and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, his personal blog 360 Sports, and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website.