In the eyes of head coach Tim Crompton, the Weber State University soccer team is ready for a challenge in the upcoming season. The longtime Wildcats head coach scheduled several high quality non-conference opponents for 2018.
Weber State will open the regular season with a home match against the University of Utah on Aug. 19. While Utah is the marquee matchup of the season, they also have home games against Nevada, North Texas, UTEP, and UC Santa Barbara.
The Wildcats are also looking ahead to a heralded road schedule where they will face Utah Valley University, UC Davis, and Arizona State before conference play begins.
“There isn’t a home game that is not difficult,” Crompton said. “They are all quality opponents.”
Crompton specifically praised the soccer program at UC Santa Barbara, who will be the Wildcats on Sept. 14 in Ogden.
Crompton said, “As you can imagine, it’s probably not too hard to recruit people to go to Santa Barbara.”
Crompton said he was appreciative of the assistance the coaching staff received from athletic director Jerry Bovee in creating the schedule.
“We are doing things that make sense from a schedule standpoint. Bovee has a lot of experience, so we lean on that,” Crompton said.
The Wildcat Soccer Field had lights installed in 2016, which now gives the team the scheduling luxury of having night games. The contests against Utah, Nevada, and North Texas will all begin at 8 p.m.
“Our facility is phenomenal,” Crompton said. “Also, people like to play on a nice grass field. It’s a place teams wants to go.”
In addition to the non-conference matches, the Wildcats will host four Big Sky conference teams in 2018. Southern Utah University and Northern Arizona play in Ogden on Sept. 21 and 23, before Northern Colorado and Montana round out the home slate on Oct. 5 and 7.
No matter how the season goes, Weber State will be playoff soccer — the ‘Cats have been selected to host the Big Sky tournament. Crompton said this could be a motivating factor for his squad to perform well.
“We go into every season with one goal in mind, and that is to be conference champs,” Crompton said. “We have a process we believe in that gets us there, but ultimately we want to represent in the NCAA Tournament. Having the tournament here is obviously a bonus.”