DURHAM, N.C.-Duke University men's soccer head coach John Kerr has announced the Blue Devils' upcoming 2012 schedule. The 18-match schedule features eight NCAA Tournament teams from 2011, including hosting reigning NCAA Champion North Carolina at Koskinen Stadium.
Duke will play 11 home contests with four of those being against ACC foes. Three of Duke's 2012 opponents finished ranked among the top 15 teams last season. Teams from nine different conferences and nine different states are represented on the 2012 slate.
After a pair of exhibition games at the Shindigz National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Blue Devils will officially kick off the year at BIG EAST rival Notre Dame August 25. The Irish finished 2011 with a 9-5-4 overall record a year ago as the two teams square off for the fourth time overall and the second time under Kerr.
Duke opens its home slate with the John Rennie Nike Invitational on August 31 against Santa Clara at 7:30 p.m. Formerly known as the Duke/adidas Classic and Duke/Nike Classic, Duke unveiled the new name in honor of the longtime Duke head coach.
Reigning Colonial Athletic Association champion Delaware will be Duke's second opponent in the weekend event as the Blue Devils and Blue Hens square off for the second time in the teams' histories. NC State will be the final team in the tournament.
ACC play opens on September 7 at rival Virginia at 7:30 p.m. Duke is 1-1-1 against the Cavaliers in the previous three meetings with the win coming in Charlottesville in 2009. The Blue Devils return home for three games in a stretch of seven days.
The three-game homestand begins with Georgia State on Sept. 11. Duke defeated the Panthers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Duke hosts Clemson three days later and takes on Southern Conference foe UNC Greensboro on Sept. 18.
Duke next makes the short trip to tangle with Wake Forest on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils are 1-2-1 against the Demon Deacons since 2008 and won 4-1 last season. UNC Wilmington awaits Duke on September 25 before the Blue Devils return home to host ACC rival and reigning NCAA Championship North Carolina.
The Blue Devils and Tar Heels kick off on September 28 at 7 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium. Duke last defeated North Carolina in 2006 and battled the Tar Heels to a 2-2 draw in Chapel Hill in 2011.
Duke will take a break from midweek action following the match with North Carolina, next traveling to NC State on October 5. The Blue Devils return to Durham for four straight home games. The stretch begins with ACC rival Maryland October 12 and continues with Presbyterian four days later.
The Blue Devils look to rebound from consecutive losses to the Terrapins after defeating them in 2009 and aim to remain unbeaten against the Blue Hose.
Boston College and Davidson complete the four-game home stint on October 19 and 23, respectively. The Blue Devils have lost to the Eagles in the ACC Tournament in each of the past three seasons and are 3-1 against the Wildcats under Kerr.
The 2012 ACC schedule concludes with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. on October 27 at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils remain on the road for 2011 Southern Conference champion Elon before closing out the regular season versus SIU Edwardsville on November 2.