Lauren Hair and the Utes will play 10 home games at Ute Field this fall.
May 14, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah soccer team will open the 2009 season at home against Utah Valley on Aug. 21, according to the schedule released Thursday by head coach Rich Manning.
"As always we want to challenge ourselves against the best possible competition, and this year is no different," said Manning. "We are excited to play teams from different regions around the country with different playing styles. Hopefully this will prepare us well for conference play and our league championships, as we try to gain entry into the NCAA tournament. With 10 home games and some great competition, we are hoping for some terrific crowds at Ute Field this fall."
The Utes will play six of their first seven games at home. After the season-opener, the Utes head to Cal State Fullerton on Aug. 23, then return for a five-game homestand featuring Santa Clara, Cal Poly, Weber State and 2008 NCAA tournament participants William & Mary and Princeton.
"We will still have a pretty young team next year so it will be good to be at home for the first couple of weeks," said Manning. "At the same time, our returning players gained great experience from our trips to North Carolina, California and Colorado last year."
Utah will then hit the road for four straight, including games at NCAA tournament competitor Colorado and NCAA semifinalist UCLA, a neutral-site contest against Loyola Marymount and an away contest at Utah State in Logan. The Utes' final non-conference tilt comes against Pepperdine on Sept. 27.
MWC action begins Oct. 3 with the Deseret First Duel matchup against BYU in Provo, Utah. They will then head to UNLV and San Diego State, before taking on TCU and New Mexico in Salt Lake City. The squad is then get back on the road for a one-day trip to Wyoming, followed by a non-conference trip to Oklahoma State, before wrapping up the regular season at home against Air Force.
The MWC Tournament will be played Nov. 4-7 in Provo, with NCAA Tournament action beginning Nov. 13.
As the season draws closer, stay tuned to www.UtahUtes.com for more information on game promotions. For the Utes' perspectives in their own words, check out the team's official blog at www.uofusoccer.blogspot.com.