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Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Soccer Will Play Five NCAA Tournament Qualifiers in 2023 Schedule

June 16, 2023

Nebraska’s quest for a return to the NCAA Tournament field will begin within state lines. The Huskers released the 2023 soccer schedule on Friday morning which includes 20 total matches—10 conference games, eight non-conference and two exhibitions.

The Huskers return the vast majority of its team from the 2022 season that finished one spot out of the NCAA Tournament. Since then, the Huskers went 7-1 in the spring schedule, played exhibition matches in Iceland and sent forwards Sarah Weber (United States) and Elenaor Dale (England) to international duties.

“It was so frustrating at first,” defender Gwen Lane told Jessica Coody on a recent episode of Sports Nightly about missing last year’s NCAA Tournament. “But it’s definitely a lot more motivating. So now we can set our goals even higher and, I think, reach our potential.”

The Huskers hope a grueling schedule will help their case in 2023. Five teams that qualified for the 2022 national tournament appear on Nebraska’s upcoming slate, including one non-conference opponent.

Nebraska stars its 2023 season preparations with a pair of exhibition matches at Hibner Stadium. South Dakota State (August 8) and Oklahoma (August 11) come to Lincoln to kick off the ninth season of Hibner Stadium. As exhibitions, those games are free to the public and don’t count towards the 2023 standings.

Regular-season action begins for the Huskers up Interstate 80 for a game at Morrison Stadium against Creighton on August 17. The Bluejays are coming off a tough season that finished in the conference tournament after going undefeated in the non-conference. It will be the ninth meeting between the two programs all-time, first since 2005 (Nebraska is 4-0-1 in the last five after Creighton won the first three meetings). Nebraska then starts is regular-season home slate on August 20 against Baylor.

Nebraska then travels west for a two-game Pacific swing. Firs, the Huskers play Eastern Washington on August 24, then swing through Spokane for an August 27 match against Gonzaga. The Bulldogs went 10-3-5 last season but also just missed out on the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers return home to host former Big 12 rival Missouri on August 31 to close the season’s opening month before returning to the road for a match at Kansas State on September 3.

The non-conference schedule closes at Hibner with UC Davis coming to Lincoln on September 7 and Saint Louis on September 10. UC Davis made a strong push for the postseason last year after beating No. 5 Santa Clara in the non-conference. Saint Louis finished last year 20-2 and beat Nebraska 5-1 in Hermann Stadium. That loss to the BIllikens turned Nebraska’s season around and Saint Louis was upset by Memphis in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Nebraska opens the Big Ten schedule at home against Wisconsin on September 15 before a true testing road swing at Ohio State (September 21) and Penn State (September 24). Both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions made the NCAA Tournament last season. The Huskers come back to Lincoln and host Rutgers on September 28. Then comes a road test at Northwestern (October 1), home match against rival Iowa (October 7), a home match against Maryland (October 12) and match at Minnesota (October 15). Nebraska hosts Purdue in its final home game of the regular season on October 19 and closes the regular season on the road at Illinois on October 22.

The 2023 Big Ten Tournament starts on October 29. Once again, the first round matches will be played on the home campuses of the top four seeds. Nebraska fought its way to the No. 4 seed last year and beat Ohio State in the first Big Ten Tournament game at Hibner Stadium. Big Ten semifinals (November 2) and final (November 5) will be played at a site to be determined. Last year, those games were played at Field in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Columbus Crew.

Nebraska Soccer 2023 Schedule

Tuesday, August 8: vs. South Dakota State, 7:05 p.m. (exhibition)
Sunday, August 11: vs. Oklahoma, 7:05 p.m. (exhibition)
Thursday, August 17: at Creighton, 6 p.m.
Sunday, August 20: vs. Baylor, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, August 24: at Eastern Washington, TBA
Sunday, August 27: at Gonzaga, 3 p.m.
Thursday, August 31: vs. Missouri, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, September 3: at Kansas State, 1 p.m.
Thursday, September 7: vs. UC Davis, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, September 10: vs. Saint Louis, 1:05 p.m.
Friday, September 15: vs. Wisconsin, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, September 21: at Ohio State, 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 24: at Penn State, 12 p.m.
Thursday, September 28: vs. Rutgers, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, October 1: at Northwestern, 1 p.m.
Saturday, October 7: vs. Iowa, 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, October 12: vs. Maryland, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, October 15: at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Thursday, October 19: vs. Purdue, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, October 22: at Illinois, 1 p.m.

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