NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University women's soccer head coach Heather Henson released the program's 2019 schedule Thursday.
Belmont will face four opponents in the top 66 of the 2018 final RPI, three of whom played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
"We are looking forward to the 2019 schedule, as we are playing teams from the Southeastern Conference, Conference USA and Atlantic Sun, all who will challenge us to grow and prepare us for our OVC schedule," Henson said.
The season begins in earnest Aug. 11 in an exhibition match against Nashville neighbor and SEC stronghold Vanderbilt. The Commodores went 16-4-1 last season in winning the SEC regular season championship. Five days later, the Bruins welcome Chattanooga to E.S. Rose Park in a return of last season's soggy meeting where Jessi Boozer scored from distance.
A three-match road swing to open the regular season commences Aug. 23 at Western Kentucky. The Bruins scored twice against the Hilltoppers a year ago.
The local flavor continues with an Aug. 25 'Battle of the Boulevard' date with Lipscomb. The Bisons went 15-5-2 in the Atlantic Sun last season.
August concludes with a trip to Southern Illinois (Aug. 30) as the Salukis embark upon their inaugural season of women's soccer.
Anticipation will be high as Belmont welcomes Georgia to E.S. Rose Park Sept. 5, the first home match vs. a Power 5 conference program since Sept. 1, 2017 (vs. Tennessee). The weekend also features a home match with Evansville (Sept. 8).
The Bruins then face five consecutive road matches as conference play kicks into gear; an Indiana swing for IUPUI (Sept. 13) and Indiana State (Sept. 15) precedes the OVC opener at Southeast Missouri (Sept. 20). Emily Nyugen (Monument, Colo.) scored a golden goal in the regular season finale to send Belmont to the conference tournament.
Belmont faces defending regular season champion UT Martin Sept. 22 and hosts tournament champion Murray State Oct. 25.
Senior Day will be Oct. 27 vs. Austin Peay.
"Our conference is strong, and every team understands the intensity raises in conference play and that will make for exciting league games," Henson added. "We have aspirations of bringing an OVC championship to Belmont."
Belmont returns All-OVC forward Julie Garst (Franklin, Tenn.).
Fans can watch all Belmont home matches live and on-demand via ESPN+.