Soccer

This season's eight-game, conference-only schedule could pose a new challenge for the Gators, as they usually have a healthy out-of-conference schedule to prepare for SEC play.

After a tumultuous period of cancellations, re-drafts and waiting, Gators soccer finally has a schedule for 2020. 

As the calendar turned to September, fans, players and coaches all speculated what Florida’s opposition would look like. 

“I don’t even know,” said coach Becky Burleigh when asked about a potential schedule just eight days ago.

Now, she’s no longer looking for answers. The Gators have just ten days to prepare for their first game of the season, a Sept. 19 clash against the Missouri Tigers. UF’s first home match of the year will be against Georgia  Sept. 26. 

The remainder of the schedule includes home matches against Alabama on Oct. 4, Vanderbilt on Oct. 18 and Tennessee on Oct. 31. Florida will travel to compete against Texas A&M on Oct. 11, South Carolina on Oct. 25 and Kentucky on Nov. 8th.

The season will conclude with the SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama, which will run from Nov. 13-22.

The NCAA cancelled all fall championships, at least until the spring of 2021, so the Gators will not go dancing this fall.

This year’s schedule is unusual for a number of reasons aside from its late release date. 

Its brevity is noteworthy, as the Gators will play just eight games before heading off to Orange Beach, far fewer than the 18 regular season games played last year. Florida’s slate also consists entirely of SEC opposition in 2020. 

Burleigh’s staff has a reputation for creating a challenging and thorough out of conference schedule, so being thrown straight into the SEC gauntlet may pose a unique challenge for UF. 

It is unclear what the atmosphere at Donald R. Dizney stadium will look like, as UF has yet to release a statement disclosing how many fans will be allowed.

Contact Declan Walsh at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @dawalsh_UF.