Utah Valley University women's soccer head coach Chris Lemay has released his team's 2018 schedule, featuring matchups against California, Weber State, UNLV, San Diego, Portland, Oklahoma and BYU.
"We are going to continue to push ourselves," said Lemay. "We want to be in the biggest environments and play the best teams. Our 2018 non-conference fall schedule has to be one of the most competitive in the country, and that is by design."
Utah Valley will play seven of its first nine matches of the season on the road. UVU will open its 2018 slate in the Golden State with a first-ever matchup against California on Aug. 17. The game at Cal will be a homecoming of sorts for Lemay, who served as Cal's associate head coach from 2012-16. The Golden Bears made their 14th-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Tournament in 2017. UVU will then trek to Laramie to take on Mountain West foe Wyoming on Aug. 19.
The Wolverines will host in-state rival Weber State on Aug. 22, in the team's home opener at Clyde Field. The team will continue Clyde Field play on Aug. 25, against UNLV. Utah Valley holds an impressive 71-34-10 all-time record at Clyde Field. The team has lost just five matches in the past four seasons on the home pitch. The Wolverines went an impressive 5-1-0 at Clyde Field in 2017. UVU ranked 34th nationally in attendance last season, averaging nearly 900 fans per game.
UVU will then travel back to California for a pair of games against West Coast Conference foe San Diego and Big West opponent Cal Poly on Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, respectively. The Wolverines will then travel to Portland, Oregon, to play in the Nike Portland Invitational. UVU will play host to Portland on Sept. 7, before facing Pac-12 foe Washington on Sept. 9. The Wolverines will then wrap up the five-match road swing in Boulder against Colorado on Sept. 13.
Utah Valley will wrap up its non-conference schedule with a home match against Big 12 foe Oklahoma on Sept. 15, as well as a cross-town rival game against BYU on Sept. 21, in Provo. The game against Oklahoma will be just the second time that UVU has hosted a team from the Big 12 conference. It will mark the second time that UVU has taken on the Sooners as UVU defeated OU, 1-0, in Norman during the 2016 season. The matchup at BYU will mark just the third time the two teams have met on the pitch.
"Playing three Pac-12 opponents, one Big 12 team and three WCC programs will certainly have us battle-tested before we head into our conference schedule," Lemay said. "Every match is important and will present different challenges, but there are a couple of extra special games that we are looking forward to. Having the opportunity to play our cross-town rival is always a great thing for the entire Utah County soccer community and going back to Northern California to play at Cal, where I spent four years, will be a great experience for our program."
Utah Valley opens its eight-match Western Athletic Conference schedule on the road at New Mexico State on Sept. 28. UVU will also play WAC road games at UTRGV (Sept. 30), at Cal Baptist (Oct. 14) and at Grand Canyon (Oct. 21).
The Wolverines open WAC play at home against Chicago State on Oct. 5. The remainder of the WAC home slate includes CSU Bakersfield (Oct. 12), Kansas City (Oct. 19) and Seattle U (Oct. 27).
Utah Valley will host the WAC Tournament this year at Clyde Field, Oct. 31 through Nov. 4. It marks the first time the Wolverines have hosted the postseason tournament. The top-six teams from the conference's regular season standings will advance to the tournament. The winner of the WAC Tournament receives the WAC's automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Utah Valley will travel to Pocatello, Idaho, for an exhibition matchup against Idaho State on Aug. 13.
The Wolverines are currently on their first-ever international trip in Costa Rica. The team will play three games while on the trip, including a match against the Costa Rica National Team on May 15. The match will be streamed live on the GoUVU Facebook page.
Jason Erickson works in the communications office at the Utah Valley University athletic department. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.