COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M soccer released another in a long line of demanding slates with the unveiling of their 2022 schedule Monday.
The 19-game regular-season slate includes 11 matches at Ellis Field. Ten of their 19 opponents earned a spot in the 2021 NCAA Division I Soccer Championship. The schedule includes 12 teams that finished in the top 75 of the RPI among the 342 Division I squads.
“This is another tough Texas A&M schedule,” head coach G Guerrieri said. “We have some great opponents coming to Ellis Field and we have some really tricky away games.”
Six of the Aggies’ eight road opponents played in the NCAA Tournament, including two that advanced to the Elite Eight.
“Our road schedule is about as tough as you can get in the country,” Guerrieri said. “Going on the road to play other proven NCAA powers at Clemson, Illinois and Ohio State will test us. Hopefully it will help us when we go into the SEC road gauntlet of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss and South Carolina.”
The Aggies waste no time jumping into the deep end of the pool with season-opening road trip to Clemson on August 19. Historic Riggs Field is one of the toughest venues to play on the eastern coast.
Texas A&M’s home slate starts with a string of three matches. The home opener is Sunday, August 21, against McNeese. The Maroon & White battle Sam Houston on Thursday, August 25, and New Mexico State on Saturday, August 27.
The New Mexico State date is slated for the Fish Camp Game, which is annually one of the most attended collegiate soccer matches in the country.
The Aggies hit the road to battle a pair of Big Ten powers with matches against Illinois (9/1) and Ohio State (9/4) to start September.
The home tests become more difficult in the weekend leading into Southeastern Conference play. The Aggies welcome TCU (9/8) and South Alabama (9/11) to Ellis Field. Both teams played in last year’s NCAA Tournament with the Horned Frogs winning the Big 12 double and the Jaguars claiming the Sun Belt Tournament title after finishing second in the regular-season ledger.
“Our fans will see some great matches at Ellis Field,” Guerrieri said. “Most of the teams will be favored to win their championship.”
Ol’ Sarge’s charges play their final non-conference game in the middle of league action when they welcome Rice to Aggieland on October 2. The Owls have emerged as one of the top teams in Conference USA and made a historic run to the Sweet 16 at the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
“We enter every season with high end goals and aspirations, so I try to put as challenging a slate of games in our non-SEC portion of the season to best prepare our ladies for the grueling SEC matches and later in the ‘win or go home’ postseason,” Guerrieri said.
Texas A&M opens SEC play with home matches against Georgia (9/16) and Mississippi State (9/22). Other home league matches include LSU (10/2), Auburn (10/14) and Missouri (10/23).
“Year in and year out, Ellis Field has earned the reputation of having the loudest and proudest soccer fans in America,” Guerrieri said. “We are coming off a great spring developmental season for our players. I am excited to get our young and talented team back in front of the 12th Man.”
The Aggies SEC away slate is among the toughest in the league. The crucible of road conference contests includes Alabama (9/25), Arkansas (9/29), Ole Miss (10/9), South Carolina (10/20) and the regular-season finale at Florida (10/27). Four of the five teams made the NCAA Tournament with only regular league frontrunner Florida failing under a first-year head coach.
The Maroon & White unofficially start their season Sunday, August 7, with a home exhibition match against the Stephen F. Austin at Ellis Field.
8/7 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (Exhibition)
8/18 at Clemson
8/25 SAM HOUSTON
8/27 NEW MEXICO STATE (FISH CAMP GAME)
9/1 at Illinois
9/4 at Ohio State
9/11 SOUTH ALABAMA
9/22 MISSISSIPPI STATE*
9/25 at Alabama*
9/29 at Arkansas*
10/9 at Ole Miss*
10/20 at South Carolina*
10/27 at Florida*
Match times will be announced at a later date.