Head Coach Rich Manning announced the 2013 Utah soccer schedule today
June 19, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Utah soccer unveiled its schedule for the 2013 season today. The Utes will play 11 home matches, five of which will be against non-conference opponents, and nine contests against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Utah will also have six of its games televised by the Pac-12 Network.
"Our team tasted some success and gained valuable experience last season," head coach Rich Manning said. "We now have a core group of players that have been seasoned by two years of PAC-12 play. They have set high goals for themselves. Our non-conference schedule is designed to put us through hard tests in tough environments. I think we are up to the challenge."
Last year, Utah handed West Coast Conference champion BYU its only loss of the regular season and earned a road draw with Conference USA champion Colorado in non-conference play last year. The Utes were tough to beat at home, as they went 6-2 in Salt Lake City and allowed just two goals in their home wins. Defender Avery Ford earned Pac-12 honorable mention status and goalkeeper Lindsey Luke was selected to the All-Pac-12 Freshman team.
Utah opens the 2013 season with four straight on the road. The Utes are at Western Kentucky on Aug. 23 to kick things off before traveling to Lexington to take on UK. The Wildcats will be christening their newly-renovated soccer complex against Utah on Aug. 25.
The Utes then travel to the west coast for the first time with a matchup against Cal State Fullerton on Aug. 30. The following Friday, Sept. 6, Utah heads to Provo for its annual rivalry battle with BYU. The Deseret First Duel was won by the Utes last season in Salt Lake City, 1-0.
Pac-12 play opens at home on Sept. 27 when Utah hosts Cal. The Golden Bears were one of six teams from the conference to reach the NCAA Tournament last season. Pac-12 teams posted a 75-28-12 (.704) record against non-conference competition last season and three teams claimed spots in the final NSCAA rankings.
"The team is chomping at the bit to get back into PAC-12 play", Manning added. "Though we had a rough patch at the end of last season, I think the players realize how close we are to reaching those high goals. We've now been through two seasons in the conference and have been to all the away venues. We know the lay of the land and the tremendous challenges that PAC-12 play brings. We are ready for it. The games will be played at a high level, dramatic and exciting to watch."
October begins for the Utes with home dates against Oregon and Oregon State the following weekend. A three-game road trip follows with a trio of daunting opponents.
Utah plays Washington and Washington State, two teams that each made the NCAA Tournament last season. The game against the Cougars will be the first televised league contest of the 2013 season for the Utes.
Stanford, the reigning four-time league champion, will host Utah on Oct. 20. The Cardinal have not lost a Pac-12 contest since 2008 and reached the national semifinals last year after winning the national title in 2011.
The Utes host UCLA and USC to close the month before their final trip of the season to take on both Arizona and Arizona State. The 2013 regular season comes to a close on Nov. 8 as Colorado comes to town for the annual Rumble in the Rockies.
Four of the five games during this run will be on the Pac-12 Network with the home games against the Trojans and Buffaloes sandwiching the trip to the desert to play the Wildcats and Sun Devils.
The NCAA Tournament begins on Nov. 15, where the Utes hope to make their first appearance since 2006.
Also, the 2013 Utah Soccer Season Ticket Scarves are on sale right now, and you can purchase yours by calling 801-581-UTIX, visiting UtahTickets.com or in person at the Rice-Eccles Stadium Ticket Office. The price for the scarves are $20 per person, and serve as your season ticket to all eleven 2013 Utah Soccer home games.