McKin­ney an­nounces Chat­tanooga 2018 womens’ soc­cer sched­ule

Walker County Messenger - - Sports -

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.

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