NEWARK, Del. --The University of Delaware men’s soccer program and head coach Ian Hennessy announced the program’s 2018 schedule Friday morning.

The 16-match schedule features four matchups against NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago, including three-time defending College Cup Champions, Stanford. Exciting non-conference matchups are scheduled against the ACC, BIG EAST, Ivy League and MAC.

“This year’s schedule will be one of the toughest we’ve had and should help us boast one of the strongest RPI’s in the country. We will challenge some of the best of the Pac-12, ACC, Ivy League, MAC and Big East conferences. In addition to being great programs, these schools are among our nation’s finest academic institutions. The non-conference slate will prepare us for another very strong CAA in 2018. The squad has been to three of the last four CAA championships including three finals, so I believe there is enough quality, particularly with a strong senior class, to compete favorably once again. I know the players are excited.”

Delaware opens the 2018 campaign with a four-match homestand against Villanova (Aug. 24), Pitt (Aug. 27), Seton Hall (Sept. 1) and Princeton (Sept. 5).

UD hits the road for the first time, heading to the west coast for a road-swing at California (Sept. 14) and Stanford (Sept. 16), before returning home for its first Colonial Athletic Association match against Charleston (Sept. 22).

CAA play continues with a matchup at James Madison (Sept. 26) before the Blue Hens head to West Virginia (Sept. 29) and Elon (Oct. 3). The Hens return to Stuart and Suzanne Grant Stadium for a Saturday night matchup with Hofstra (Oct. 6) before hitting I-95 for a short trip to Drexel (Oct. 10).

William & Mary visits Newark on Oct. 13, before the Blue Hens travel to UNCW (Oct. 20). Delaware closes out both its CAA and home schedule against Northeastern (Oct. 27) before concluding the regular season at Penn (Oct. 30).

The Blue Hens will look to return to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons by winning the CAA Tournament (Nov. 3-11). Delaware returns 16 members including CAA first-team honoree John Schroeder and senior goalkeeper Todd Morton.