WOMEN'S SOCCER: The BYU women's soccer team begins its 2008 campaign aiming for a fourth consecutive NCAA tournament berth when it travels to Cal Poly to face the Mustangs on Friday at 7 p.m. in the season opener for both teams.
Hermann trophy candidate Katie Larkin leads the talented team, and all-region defender Jessica Carter anchors a defense that held opponents scoreless for the first nine games of the 2007 season.
The Cougars will continue their first road trip of the season on Monday when they face LSU at 7 p.m.
FOOTBALL: The ninth annual Ute Fan Fest, presented by the Crimson Club and the Deseret News, will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Parking and admission are free. The Fan Fest is an opportunity for Ute fans to meet their favorite teams, and the fun includes autographs, photos, interactive games, food, Ute merchandise and prizes.
WOMEN'S SOCCER: The University of Utah women's soccer team opens its 2008 season this weekend as the Utes travel to North
Carolina for matches against Wake Forest and UNC Greensboro. Utah takes on the Demon Deacons Friday at 5 p.m. at Spry Field in Winston-Salem. The squad then heads to UNCG Field Sunday, for an 11 a.m. tilt with the Spartans.
"The main thing for us now is that we just need to play some games," said coach Rich Manning. "The team is really ready to play outside competition and find out where we are. The players came in a week early on their own, so they have been here for three weeks now and they are getting edgy to play. There is no doubt that we are taking on two very good teams this weekend, in tough road environments, but I don't think there is any better way to start out and really gauge our progress to this point."
The Utes are coming off a 12-5-4 effort in 2007 that saw them finish fifth in the Mountain West Conference and miss the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years.
Both Wake Forest and UNC Greensboro are first-time foes of the Utes. Each match will also mark the first time Utah has ever faced an opponent from either team's respective conferences, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Southern Conference (SoCon).
Utah is 9-3-1 all-time in season-opening contests. The Utes are 4-2-1 when opening the season on the road under coach Rich Manning.
SOCCER: Southern Utah women's soccer will begin its 2008 campaign when the Thunderbirds host the UC-Riverside Highlanders on Friday at 3 p.m. The game will be the first for both schools after not having any preseason matches this year.
UC-Riverside will bring the reigning Big West Player of the Year in Tessa Lennala, who led the conference with eight goals in 2007. Southern Utah will counter with senior forward Shaley Ipson-Allen, who is on the cusp of becoming the all-time career record holder in goals and points.
The Thunderbirds also return an experienced back line with three returning starters and sophomore Allison Goettsche who appeared in 16 of SUU's 18 games last year.
VOLLEYBALL: Utah State volleyball coach Grayson DuBose and members of the 2008 volleyball team will be holding a free skills clinic on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The clinic, which is for children under the age of 15 and adults who are at least 18, will focus on basic volleyball technique as well as providing up-to-date information on rule changes in the collegiate game.
For more information or to register, contact the USU Athletics Department at 435-797-1850.