McKinney announces Chattanooga 2018 womens’ soccer schedule
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s soccer head coach Gavin McKinney announced the 2018 slate. The Mocs’ schedule will feature two exhibitions and nine regular season matches at home.
“We are very excited for the fall of 2018 to get here,” McKinney said. “Our returning players worked extremely hard this past spring and we are confident that they will continue to train with purpose leading into August. All of our incoming freshmen have had successful springs with their club and high school teams. We know this group will be hungry to compete straight away.”
The Mocs will face some tough competition before the season even gets started. UTC hosts Belmont in a friendly at Finley Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 9. The Bruins placed fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference in the regular season and battled Southeast Missouri to a double overtime tie, falling on penalty kicks in the OVC Tournament quarterfinal.
Two days later Chattanooga will trek to Cookeville to take on Tennessee Tech in its second exhibition match. The Golden Eagles finished second in the OVC regular season and fell in double-overtime to Eastern Kentucky in the OVC semifinal round.
“Our out of conference schedule is one of our toughest yet,” McKinney said. “We have three programs who won their regular season conference championships in 2017 and two who also went on to win their conference tournaments.”
The Mocs kick off the regular season at home against Alabama A&M on Aug. 17 before hitting the road for a threegame stretch beginning at former Southern Conference foe Georgia Southern. The following weekend will send UTC to lower Alabama for a match at the 2017 Sun Belt Champion South Alabama. The Jaguars posted three straight shutouts to win the conference tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament. That will follow two days later with a match against Troy who finished third in the Sun Belt.
The next five matches begin at home against Georgia State followed by a trip to the Atlantic Sun defending champion Lipscomb. The Bison went 5-1-1 in the regular season and fell to Florida Gulf Coast in the championship game of the league tournament.
Chattanooga returns home briefly to host the OVC regular season champion Murray State on Sept. 7. The Racers went on to claim the conference tournament crown and fell to Tennessee in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Mocs will hit the road to take on Austin Peay on Sept. 9 then close out the non-conference slate in Chattanooga against North Alabama who finished third in the Gulf South Conference regular season.
“Our student-athletes want to be challenged and this schedule will prepare us very well for SoCon play. Our league is always very competitive and we are hoping to continually progress each year within the SoCon.”
The Southern Conference schedule opens at home for the Mocs with Mercer and The Citadel. The Bears and Mocs tied in the 2017 home finale and UTC came away with a 3-2 double overtime victory over the Bulldogs on the road. Freshman Chloe Arnold netted a hat trick for the win.
Chattanooga will hit the road to take on Wofford and Furman on the road. UTC had a 1-0 win over the Terriers on Senior Day last year but were edged by the 2017 SoCon Champion Paladins 1-0 at home.
The Mocs return to Chattanooga to host its second three-game home stand of the year with Western Carolina on Oct. 5 followed by ETSU two days and close it out with Samford who finished second in the league standings.
UTC will finish out the regular season on the road at UNCG and VMI. The Mocs fell to the Spartans in the SoCon Tournament and UNCG would go on to claim the tournament crown, advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
The Mocs return 15 to the roster in 2018 including Southern Conference Freshman of the Year Chloe Arnold and all-conference performer Jordan Mueller as well as seven newcomers.